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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.

Half of voters feel a new political party is needed


Fifty per cent of voters now feel there is a need for a new political party on foot of broken election promises and widespread disillusionment with the Government, a new nationwide opinion poll reveals.

An undeniable feeling of discontent among voters has fuelled calls for a new party to be established, while angry voters are calling for the Government to rein in excessive pay and pensions in the bailed-out banks.

According to the latest Sunday Independent MillwardBrown nationwide opinion poll, conducted this month, the desire for a new party is strongest among women voters, young to middle-aged voters and those living in Connacht and Ulster or from poorer backgrounds.

Former Tanaiste Michael McDowell, writing in today’s Sunday Independent, says that falling satisfaction with the Government and the fact that the coalition partners have “fallen out of love” are driving factors behind the calls for a new party.

“There is at least 25 per cent of the electorate which would opt for a new party as an alternative to another term for the present coalition and as an alternative to a Fianna Fail/Sinn Fein coalition backed by the remnants of Labour,” he said.

Mr McDowell is predicting that while FG will lead the next government he thinks Labour will not be in power with them, and there is room in the gap for a new party.

“I cannot see any possibility of an overall majority FG government after the next election. It seems to me that many people in middle Ireland would support the formation of a new party which would give Ireland the opportunity to have a new government which would not include the Labour Party,” he adds.

According to the poll, 38 per cent of voters feel there is no need for a new political party, with opposition to the proposal higher among males, those aged over 55 and Dubliners, with many feeling a new party would not be able to offer any real change, given the country’s financial woes and our electoral system.

If don’t knows were to be excluded, a majority of voters feel there is a need for a new party.

When asked what strategies the Government should prioritise in 2013, 50 per cent of those polled said they want the Coalition to be more assertive when dealing with the issue of “bankers’ pay, pensions and lending policies”.

The drip feed of revelations about activities at the top of the banks, which to date have received €64bn of taxpayers’ money in capitalisation, have fuelled calls for more decisive action from Finance Minister Michael Noonan from the elderly and voters outside Dublin.

Voters are also frustrated with the lack of progress in terms of progressing Ireland’s bank debt deal with 23 per cent saying the Government should adopt a tougher approach when dealing with the troika, as a top priority.

Speaking this weekend, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said once the IBRC promissory note is restructured ahead of the March 31 deadline, he is expecting agreement on a deal by June on the cost of capitalising the “pillar banks”.

Mr Kenny said a full deal is not likely until 2014 after the necessary European structures are in place, but a signal will be crucial to enable Ireland to exit the bailout at the end of 2013.

“So while an actual transaction may not be possible until 2014 a clear signal of how this is going to be done will certainly strengthen market confidence and lower interest rates for Ireland,” he said.

– DANIEL McCONNELL Chief Reporte

via Half of voters feel a new political party is needed – National News – Independent.ie.

via Half of voters feel a new political party is needed.

Majority backs same-sex union, poll indicates


There is broad public support for same-sex marriage and for most of the other constitutional changes backed by the Government, according to an Ipsos MRBI 50th anniversary poll. Most of those proposed changes will be considered by a constitutional convention which will hold its first meeting next weekend.

The only proposed change that does not meet with public approval is to reduce the voting age to 17.

The survey covered a range of issues and was conducted by Ipsos MRBI to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Details of changing values and beliefs over the past half century on a range of issues including religion, Northern Ireland and Europe will be revealed in The Irish Times in the week ahead.

The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 1,000 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 locations in all 43 constituencies.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3 per cent.

Voters were asked how they would vote in the constitutional referendums planned during the Coalition’s lifetime.

On same-sex marriage 53 per cent said they would vote Yes while 30 per cent would vote No, while 17 per cent have no opinion. Women were significantly more in favour of the change than men and younger voters were the most enthusiastic. Voters over 55 are solidly opposed to the proposed change.

Citizens living abroad�

On abolition of the Seanad 55 per cent said they would vote Yes, 22 per cent said No and 23 per cent had no opinion. There is an even spread of opinion on this issue across age, class and region. The Government has committed itself to holding a referendum on this issue and it will not be considered by the convention.

The most popular proposal going before the convention is the one to give Irish citizens living abroad the right to vote in presidential elections. The response here was 68 per cent Yes and 17 per cent No.

On the question of whether the reference to the woman’s life within the home should be removed from the Constitution the most striking finding was the number of people with no opinion.

A total of 41 per cent said the reference should be removed, while 19 per cent said it should not and 40 per cent had no opinion.

via Majority backs same-sex union, poll indicates – The Irish Times – Mon, Nov 26, 2012.

via Majority backs same-sex union, poll indicates – The Irish Times – Mon, Nov 26, 2012.

Voting By Sex, Age, Race, Money, And Education


Amazing Facts About US Presidential Voting By Sex, Age, Race, Money, And Education

Obama 347 electoral map

The New York Times has an awesome graphical breakdown of voting data from the 2012 Presidential election.

In case you had any doubt about how the country breaks down along gender, age, race, financial status, religion, education, and community lines, just have a glance at these stats.

Obama won “Women” by 11 points (55% to 44%). This was very important, because women made up 53% of voters.

Romney won “Men” by 7 points (52% to 45%). Men were only 47% of voters.

Obama won “Young voters” (18-29) by an astounding 24 points (60% to 36%). These folks were 19% of total voters.

Obama won “Young middle aged voters” (30-44) by an impressive 7 points (52% to 45%). These folks were 26% of total voters.

Romney won “Middle-aged voters” (45-59) by 5 points (52% to 47%). These were 29% of voters.

Romney won “Older voters” (60+) by 9 points (54% to 45%). These were 25% of voters.

Obama won “Black voters” by a staggering 87 points (93% to 6%). Blacks were 13% of voters.

Obama won “Asian voters” by a remarkable 47 points (73% to 26%). Asians were 3% of voters.

Obama won “Hispanic voters” by a remarkable 44 points (71% to 27%). Hispanics were 10% of voters.

Romney won “White voters” by 20 points (59% to 39%). Whites were 72% of voters.

Obama won gay, unmarried, and working-mother, and parents-with-young-kids voters by massive margins.

Romney won “married” voters.

Obama won uneducated (no high school), modestly educated (high school), and super-educated (graduate degree) voters.

Romney won college grads by a small margin.

Obama won by a staggering margin voters who said their financial situation is the same or better than 4 years ago.

Romney won by a big margin voters who said their financial situation is worse.

Obama won households making less than $49,999 by ~20 points

Romney won households making more than $50,000 by 6-10 points

Obama easily won voters who classify themselves as Democrats and Liberals and narrowly won those classifying themselves as Moderates

Romney easily won voters who classify themselves as Republicans and Conservatives, and very narrowly won Independents

Obama won by a landslide in big cities and easily in small cities.

Romney won easily in rural areas and more narrowly in the suburbs and towns.

Obama won Jewish voters handily (2% of voters) and Catholic voters (25% of voters) narrowly

Romney won protestants (53% of voters) and white evangelical Christians (26% of voters).

via Voting By Sex, Age, Race, Money, And Education – Business Insider.

via Voting By Sex, Age, Race, Money, And Education – Business Insider.

Concerned Women for America announces ‘Lady Smarts’ campaign | Twitchy


The Obama campaign targeted young women yesterday with an insulting and degrading ad equating voting for Obama with losing one’s virginity. Conservative women are fed up with being viewed as little more than a collection of lady parts and are fighting back.

Concerned Women for America is out with a new campaign that smacks down OFA’s “Your First Time” ad and its insinuation that American women care only about access to free birth control and abortion on demand. With the “Lady Smarts,” campaign, CWA shines the spotlight on what really matters to women: jobs and the economy.

Washington, D.C. — In response to the Obama campaign’s “Your First Time” ad featuring Lena Dunham, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee CEO and President Penny Nance announced the launch of the “Lady Smarts” campaign. “Lady Smarts” seeks to dispel the liberal notion that women are monolithic voters and are only concerned about free contraception and abortion. “Lady Smarts” refutes liberal efforts to distract from the real concerns of voters by alleging a phony “war on women” and highlights the fact that women’s issues are everyone’s issues. Our major concerns this election are jobs and the economy.

“I’m saddened to see the liberal women of this country allow themselves to be painted into a corner and portrayed as single-minded and only concerned about getting free stuff,” Nance said. “I’ve traveled across this country and women of all backgrounds are telling me that this election is not just about their ovaries, they’re thinking about the overall picture of the economy.”

via Boom: Concerned Women for America announces ‘Lady Smarts’ campaign | Twitchy.

via Boom: Concerned Women for America announces ‘Lady Smarts’ campaign | Twitchy.

With The American Election in Mind


If only this could apply to both candidates

You can bet on one thing neither candidate will do nothing constructive to alleviate  the burdens placed on Johnny Citizen. The money of the people will continue to flow at a fast rate into the vortex  of reprobate banking clique never to be seen again

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