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Secondary teachers’ union to recommend No vote on pay proposals

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ONE OF THE TWO trade unions representing secondary school teachers is to recommend that its members reject the proposed ‘Croke Park 2′ pay deal.

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) will ballot its 17,500 members on the deal in the coming weeks.

The union’s standing committee said the proposals from the Labour Relations Commission would worsen working conditions for teachers while also cutting their pay.

“The proposals come at a time when second-level schools are reeling from the impact of the education cutbacks including significant reductions in staffing and resources,” the union said in a statement this evening.

Senior members said public sector workers had already taken a cumulative pay cut of 14 per cent in recent years, while delivering “substantial” savings under the terms of the original Croke Park Agreement.

“The fairer way for the Government to achieve additional savings is through a more progressive tax system,” it said.

The union added that the supervision and substitution allowance – worth about €1,800 a year, which would be abolished under the proposals – would have “a disproportionate negative impact on low-paid part-time and temporary teachers” who had come rely on that money.

It also claimed that some aspects of the deal had yet to be clarified, and that it could not recommend the deal to its members while some of its impact remained unknown.

The union has become the sixth, of the 15 public service unions, to publicly recommend a No vote.

The INTO, which represents primary teachers, did not issue a recommendation; the other main secondary union, the TUI, and the university lecturers’ union IFUT are both seeking a No vote.

via Secondary teachers’ union to recommend No vote on pay proposals.

via Secondary teachers’ union to recommend No vote on pay proposals.

Teacher who is afraid of children, to sue

CHILDREN are terrifying things, with their snotty little faces, gurgling traps and little accusatory fists. It is little wonder we treat them with such contempt.

One person who is really frightened of children is an ex-teacher who is suing her former school district, saying that was discriminated against for her fear of children. You heard.

Maria Waltherr-Willard had been teaching French and Spanish at Mariemont High School in Cincinnati since 1976. When the 61-year-old was transferred to the district’s middle school a few year ago, the seventh and eighth-graders she was to teach triggered her paedophobia (that’s a phobia of young children, rather than the other similar word). Her blood pressure went through the roof and she needed to retire in 2010.

And now, the lawsuit states that Waltherr-Willard’s paedophobia is covered by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and that her bosses violated it by transferring her and refusing her a move back to the high school. The high school that presumably didn’t have any children.


School district attorney Gary Winters claimed that Waltherr-Willard simply “wants money,” and added: “Let’s keep in mind that our goal here is to provide the best teachers for students and the best academic experience for students, which certainly wasn’t accomplished by her walking out on them in the middle of the year.”

Waltherr-Willard claims she has lost out on at least $100,000, but the damages are not specified in the suit. The suit that is from a teacher who is scared of children.

Beggar’s belief.

via Teacher who is afraid of children, to sue.

via Teacher who is afraid of children, to sue.

Key Budget Measures – Education – Latest News – I.N.T.O

Key Budget Measures – Education

1. The staffing schedule for primary schools remains unchanged at 28:1 in the education measures announced under Budget 2013. However, the measures announced in staffing schedule changes for small schools (1, 2, 3, 4 class teachers) in Budget 2012 last year remain in place.

2. An additional nett 450 primary teachers will be recruited to cater for increased demographics in the 2013/2014 school year.

3. The additional days-in-lieu (max. 30) currently applicable to teachers and SNAs who avail of maternity leave will be revised with effect from May 1st 2013.

4. Teachers and SNAs will be referred to the occupational health service after four weeks of sick leave, rather than the current twelve weeks and eight weeks respectively (this is already part of the revised sick leave scheme).

5. Provision for special education remains in place, including the number of resource teachers and SNAs.

6. There are no changes to overall teacher numbers or funding for DEIS schools.

7. The standard capitation grant rate for primary schools in 2013 will be reduced by 0.5%.

8. The student contribution at third level will be increased by €250.

9. There is a further change to the staffing schedule for private schools at second level. It will rise by two points.

via Latest News – I.N.T.O.

via Latest News – I.N.T.O.

Teachers’ Facepalm- Protest Pictures- No cuts

Scenes from yesterday evening’s protest in Dublin city organised by ASTI, the TUI and the INTO over the lack of equal pay for newly-qualified teachers.

The unions claim the difference in salary between young teachers and their senior colleagues could reach €250,000 during a career-lifetime.

Teachers striking in Dublin’s schools,what does it do? | School Security

Teachers striking in Dublin’s schools,what does it do?

Striking season is not limited to South Africa. Teachers in Ireland’s Dublin schools have been protests over pay cuts to their budgets in the streets. The three main teachers unions in Ireland joined forces to take to the streets and try to make a difference. But in the end,what does this protesting do? And who is it for?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 05: Thousands of Victorian teachers march to Parliament house demanding better wages on September 5, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. The Australian Education Union AEU want a 30 per cent pay increase for teachers over three years and more job security as opposed to the 2.5 percent increase offered by the government with the best 70 percent of teachers recieving a bhonus every year. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

The teachers have been compliaing that their teaching system is at breaking point. The last four budget cuts put in place by Ireland’s government there has been an increase in class size and a decrease student support.

ASTI General Secretary Pat King said that today’s protest is about sending a message to Government that “there is nothing left to take from education” in the Budget.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr King said that the previous four Budgets have devastated Irish education, increased class size and removed student supports.

This protesting is great for grabbing�headlines�and filling the blogger’s sphere ,but does it really improve the lives of students and teachers alike? It is hard to say in the irish setting as it has just started but as far as the situation in South Africa it has�definitely�not helped anyone. It is the talks while the protests and strikes are on hold with the policy makers that really make a difference.

But by the same token it is hard to say that the policy makers and the like would be as likely to pay attention to the strikers’ wants and needs without the public pressure.

In essence ,it is this blogger’s belief,that communication is the main problem. Those in power must listen to those on the ground before they look for attention in ways that are not constructive. And those they feel disenfranchised or want to strike mut consider the effectiveness thereof and the far reaching consequences thereof.

Teacher’s Office, Korea (Photo credit: watchsmart)

This is a world wide trend,here are some linked articles

via Teachers striking in Dublin’s schools,what does it do? | School Security.

via Teachers striking in Dublin’s schools,what does it do? | School Security.

Teachers to protest over cuts –


Teacher (Photo credit: timTeachers will protest outside the Dail over budget cuts. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times

Thousands of teachers are due to take part in a protest outside the Dáil today over education cuts and pay for newly qualified teachers.

Teachers from schools in the Dublin area representing the three main teaching unions, the INTO, ASTI and TUI will gather for the 4.30pm rally.

Newly qualified teachers will also be joining the protest. They are “demanding equal pay for equal work,” the unions said in a joint statement. Their salaries are a fifth less than the starting salary of colleagues, it said. Most newly qualified teachers are unable to find work and will spend the next few year subbing, the statement said.

Teachers will also protest about cuts. Following four years of cuts and with the Budget looming teachers want to “express their concerns and fears for the children and young people in their classrooms,” the statement added

Presidents of the unions will address the rally.

via Teachers to protest over cuts – The Irish Times – Wed, Oct 24, 2012.

Up to 5,000 teachers in the firing line for cuts –

MORE than 5,000 teachers face losing their allowances under a government review.

One of the targets is an allowance of between €532 and €1,572 paid to more than 2,750 primary and post-primary principals.

Two in three of the country’s principals are in receipt of the payment for acting as secretary to the school board of management.

The payment of a similar allowance to principals acting as secretary to a board of management in an institute of technology is also under scrutiny.

Special allowances paid to teachers who teach through Irish, work in the Gaeltacht or who work on an island, are also being targeted for abolition.

The Gaeltacht grant is worth €3,063 to about 780 primary and post-primary teachers, while about 1,800 receive an annual €1,583 for teaching through Irish.

About 30 teachers are in receipt of the island allowance, which is worth €1,842 per year.

Department of Public expenditure and Reform general secretary Robert Watt has told the Department of Education that these were the priority for elimination. The proposal will now be discussed with the trade unions.

via Up to 5,000 teachers in the firing line for cuts – Latest News, Education –

via Up to 5,000 teachers in the firing line for cuts – Latest News, Education –

Our teachers deserve proper jobs and proper pay

AMONG the most damaging effects of the cutbacks in education is the casualisation of teaching and lecturing. Ironically, this is exacerbated by the abuse of legislation intended to protect employees against abuse. Many teachers and lecturers are experiencing severe income poverty because they struggle on fixed-term – which is to say temporary – contracts in part-time positions, mere fragments of jobs.

To make matters worse, these teachers and lecturers are routinely jettisoned or have their hours, and pay, reduced from one year to the next, a situation completely at odds with the common yet completely erroneous depiction of public servants as some rare breed of protected species in terms of tenure and job security.

We estimate that 30 per cent of second-level teachers are employed on a part-time basis. Local management has, in some instances, sought to play God by varying the working hours of teachers and lecturers on an arbitrary, whimsical basis.

As if this were not enough, there has been a savage, sustained and disproportionate attack on the pay of new entrants to the teaching profession since 2011.

Newly qualified teachers enter the teaching profession after an unpaid training period of five years, soon to be six at second level. It takes an average of a further five years to secure a level of permanency. Even then, this is very often only permanency in part-time work that sees them, in many instances, earning considerably less than the average industrial wage.

In the wake of the cynical elimination of qualification allowances, a teacher who enters the profession today is automatically

22 per cent down on the 2010 starting salary of a colleague with identical qualifications.

The principled struggle against casualisation and associated pay cuts that the Teachers’ Union of Ireland and other teacher unions are engaged in is one that, in the interests of this country and its young people, must be won.

A race to the bottom eventually impoverishes everybody and deprives the country of one of its most important competitive advantages: a high quality, highly regarded public education system.

TUI’s annual congress this year prioritised the plight of new entrants to the profession, committing the union to campaigning to have the divisive differential in the salaries of teachers doing the same job rescinded. The concerns of new entrants must be afforded priority in negotiations about pay and in any national agreements that may emerge.

Parents and communities also need to be aware that hundreds of teaching posts have been lost as a result of cutbacks in recent years and that the equivalent of a further 700 full-time positions have been taken out of the second-level system this September as a result of a cut to guidance-counselling provision.

Invariably it is vulnerable teachers in fixed-term positions on part-time hours who suffer first when such cuts take effect.

For students and schools, casualisation and cuts create instability. For example, they often result in students being taught by a succession of teachers in a given subject area over the course of the Junior or Leaving Certificate cycles. In terms of consistency of provision, this is undesirable, unacceptable and damaging.

In order to protect our students, our high-quality public education system and the integrity of the profession on which it relies, the TUI is seeking, as a first step, an end to the attrition that is causing casualisation.

We are asking the Department of Education and Skills to work with the education partners to put in place a system whereby teachers have an opportunity to secure sustainable jobs that allow them to develop as professionals and make an even more valuable contribution to the schools and communities that they serve.

Now more than ever, teachers need jobs, not hours.

John MacGabhann is general secretary of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland, which represents more than 14,000 teachers and lecturers

via Our teachers deserve proper jobs and proper pay – The Irish Times – Tue, Oct 02, 2012.

via Our teachers deserve proper jobs and proper pay – The Irish Times – Tue, Oct 02, 2012.

C&AG report: Government to claw back €1m in wages overpaid to teachers

MORE than €1m in overpaid wages is to be collected from almost 5,000 school teachers, a Government spending watchdog has found.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) found that it took accountants in the Department of Education nine months of last year to implement 10pc lower pay rates for new entrants.

And the inquiry found that even one year after the cuts kicked in those who were overpaid had not yet been alerted.

“One year after implementation of the pay rate changes, the Department has not yet contacted the individuals overpaid in the first part of 2011 or put in place repayment arrangements,” the C&AG found.

Its inquiry found that 1,600 secondary teachers were overpaid €560,000, about €350 each on average, 1,400 primary teachers about the same and 1,700 non-teaching staff working in schools a total of €148,000.

“The policy of the Department is to recover all overpayments,” the C&AG’s report stated.

The error was caused after it took the Department of Education seven months from budget day in December 2010 to prepare and issue a circular on revised pay scales and nine months to implement the payroll changes.

The overpayment figures could only measure how much was paid to teachers directly under the control of the Department of Education. No figure is known for the teachers in Vocational Education Committees.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform told the C&AG: “It is the responsibility of the management in each of the public service sectors concerned to ensure the implementation of the Government decision in respect of the pay reductions in question.

“The Department does not have a direct role in overseeing such implementation arrangements in the public service, other than in the civil service, and is not in a position to say whether there were similar instances in the wider public service.”

via C&AG report: Government to claw back €1m in wages overpaid to teachers – National News –

via C&AG report: Government to claw back €1m in wages overpaid to teachers.

Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary

THE TRADE UNION representing Ireland’s primary school teachers has criticised yesterday’s reviews of public service allowances, saying the decision not to reverse allowances suspended in the last Budget is tantamount to a third annual cut in teachers’ pay.

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation said decisions to cap qualification allowances for new entrants to the teaching system means primary teachers have been hit harder through successive cutbacks than other public servants.

“While qualification allowances are abolished, new teachers will start on the fourth point of the salary scale,” the union’s general secretary Shiela Nunan said.

“In addition, all teachers who carry out supervision duties will continue to be paid the supervision allowance. This means the starting salary for new teachers, including a supervision allowance, will now be €32,294.

Three years ago a similarly newly-employed teacher could expect a wage of €39,195 – meaning a gross pay cut of 17 per cent in the last three years.

The pay could have been lower, however, as supervision allowances – an extra allowance paid to teachers in return for giving up breaks in order to supervise in the schoolyard at lunch break – had been retained, having been identified as previously being up for abolition.

Nunan said the pay now being offered to new teachers did not reflect the academic standard of new teachers in Ireland, who she said had been recognised as among the highest achievers, in academic terms, in the world.

She argued that it was not possible to defend a system where younger teachers were paid significantly less than only slightly more experienced peers who were doing exactly the same work.

The union said it would continue to work towards reducing inequalities among teachers’ salaries.

via Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary.

via Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary.

Only new teachers will not be paid allowances –

NEW ENTRANTS to teaching will bear the brunt of the Government’s cuts to allowances for the sector.

Under plans announced yesterday, established teachers will retain various allowances worth about €506 million a year.

New entrants will not receive any qualification allowances – worth about €4,500 annually to a teacher with an honours primary degree in education.

Instead, they will start on a salary of €30,702, which is equivalent to the fourth point of the existing scale.

The changes mean new entrants will earn about 20 per cent less than their colleagues who secured permanent jobs as recently as 2010. Two years ago, newly appointed teachers earned more than €39,000 in salary and allowances.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has described the new move as a “vicious and unwarranted attack on the teaching profession”.

However, the teacher unions have been criticised by some young teachers who claim they have been “abandoned” by their older colleagues.

The Government’s move will see the formal establishment of a two-tier teaching profession.

Under the changes, new entrants will also have the option of being paid a pensionable allowance of €1,592 for supervision and substitution which will bring their starting salary to €32,294.

However, to qualify for this supervision and substitution allowance, new entrants will have to provide 12 additional hours a year over and above the existing requirement.

via Only new teachers will not be paid allowances – The Irish Times – Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

via Only new teachers will not be paid allowances – The Irish Times – Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

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