Annual Convention 2020

I would like to attend Convention? What do I have to do?

If you wish to attend Convention 2020 you should go along to your branch meeting. If you are unsure about your branch meetings, ask your School Steward for your branch’s meeting schedule.

To attend Annual Convention you must be a delegate or an observer. Please note that only delegates are allowed to speak on and vote on Convention motions.

Branches select their Convention delegates at their meetings.  Each branch gets to send a number of delegates to Convention depending on the number of members in their branch. The number of branch delegates depends on the size of the branch. Branches must submit the names of their branch delegates to ASTI Head Office not later than January 31st.  In addition to branch delegates, members of the ASTI Central Executive Council and Standing Committee attend Convention as delegates.


What if I personally were to attend?

Well then, you would find teaching colleagues from workplaces similar to yours from all over the country discussing issues that do, or will affect you, and making decisions as to how ASTI could best influence the outcomes for its members. You would be part of that process.


What if I have children? How would I cope?

The ASTI organises child-minding facilities during Convention sessions for children of delegates aged between 2 – 12 years. Places must be reserved well in advance of Convention, not later than Monday 16th March 2020, if you are attending please book your children’s place(s) as early as possible.  Further information is available under the 'childcare' tab.


What if I go - it will be an expensive business for me!

On registration at Convention you will receive a cheque for accommodation expenses and after Convention members receive reimbursement for public transport, or mileage allowance if they use their car to travel from home to Convention.


What is the purpose of Annual Convention?

Convention is the policy making body of the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland.  The decisions which are taken as a result of the debate become the policy of the union and are subsequently pursued with the relevant bodies.  It is important that you express your reservations on or support for any issue about which you feel strongly as, once the decision is taken, the union is duty bound to follow.

Those attending Annual Convention are supplied with the following:

  • Book 1 -  Conference Programme
  • Book 2  - Conference Reports
  • Book 3  - Statement of Accounts
  • Minutes and Report of the previous Annual Convention

The Conference Programme includes a list of those attending, the timings of sessions and the resolutions.  It also includes Standing Orders i.e. the rules on how business is conducted.


Who is on the platform?

Annual Convention is chaired by the President of the union.  The President is the highest ranking officer of the union.  This is an elected post which is held for one year.

The President is accompanied by the President- Elect who will be President the following year, the Vice-President, the Honorary Treasurer and the Time Keeper.

Also on the platform is the General Secretary, the highest ranking official of the union, the Deputy General Secretary and the Assistant General Secretary.


Where do the resolutions come from?

In the Conference Programme you will see that each resolution is attributed to either a Branch or Standing Committee.

Those attributed to Branches have been submitted for Conference by members attending Branch meetings.  They will be proposed and seconded by members of these branches but any delegate may contribute to the debate thereafter.  Branch resolutions are very important because they give members the opportunity to influence policy.

Standing Committee comprises of the officers and elected members from 18 Regions.  The Standing Committee meets monthly and deals with ongoing work of the union.  It submits motions to conference based on current issues in education.  Standing Committee members will propose and second these motions but, again, any delegate may contribute to the debate.


Who can vote?

There are several categories of people who attend Annual Convention, but only some of these can vote.

Delegates have been nominated to represent their Branches and hold the voting rights of the branch.  Each branch has a pre-determined number of delegates based on size.  If a vote is difficult to call, there may be a card vote.  If this occurs, the number of members present in the conference hall will be taken into account.  You should always have your credential card with you for this purpose.

CEC members have individual voting rights.

They are normally members who wish to attend Conference but who are not delegates as the quota had been filled or they had expressed their wish after the stated date.  They can also be from other organisations.  Observers do not have voting rights.

Fraternal guests are invited members of other teacher unions and do not have voting rights. Other guests from educational or political organisations and who do not have voting rights.


What is the difference between private and public sessions?

Any attendee is welcome at Public Sessions.   These will comprise of the President’s Address, the General Secretary’s Address, addresses from guest speakers and resolutions which are open to public debate.

Private Sessions deal with the internal issues of the union.  Only delegates/CEC may attend these sessions.


How is business conducted?

Each motion has a Proposer and Seconder. 

The proposer presents the argument in favour.  He/she has a maximum of 3 minutes to speak.  The motion must have a seconder or it will fall.  Often the seconder will also speak in favour of the motion for a maximum of 3 minutes. 
Motions may also be formally seconded without a speech.

The floor is then opened for any delegate to speak for or against the motion.  Each speaker will have a maximum of 3 minutes.  At the end of the speakers the proposer will be offered the right to reply.  He/she may use this time to address some of the arguments which have arisen.

The vote will then be taken. 

  • For or
  • Against or
  • Register an abstention