Teach­ers to pull sub­sti­tu­tion du­ties as strike averted

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Katie O’Neill

TEACH­ERS rep­re­sented by the ASTI will with­draw from sub­sti­tu­tion du­ties from Septem­ber fol­low­ing a vote on the last day of the union’s tur­bu­lent 2017 con­fer­ence.

Del­e­gates voted against strike ac­tion next month but voted to protest out­side Le­in­ster House dur­ing pay talks over the sum­mer.

‘That ASTI di­rect all mem­bers to with­draw from all un­paid class­room sub­sti­tu­tion, cov­ered by the su­per­vi­sion and sub­sti­tu­tion scheme begin­ning on the first day of the next school year,’ the mo­tion passed by del­e­gates yes­ter­day read.

ASTI mem­bers are not paid for su­per­vi­sion and sub­sti­tu­tion as a re­sult of the union re­ject­ing the Lans­downe Road Agree­ment.

INTO and TUI mem­bers are paid for car­ry­ing out th­ese du­ties be­cause they signed up to the agree­ment.

Last year, in­ter­mit­tent strike ac­tion cou­pled with the with­drawal from su­per­vi­sion and sub­sti­tu­tion by ASTI mem­bers led to the clo­sure of a num­ber of schools on var­i­ous days in the win­ter and in­voked chaos in the school sys­tem.

How­ever, a spokesman for the ASTI said it does not en­vi­sion school clo­sures in Septem­ber as a re­sult of the ac­tion.

‘We be­lieve that it is very easy for schools to put in some kind of a con­tin­gency in re­la­tion to sub­sti­tu­tion much eas­ier than it would be than if we would have with­drawn from the whole su­per­vi­sion and sub­sti­tu­tion scheme,’ the spokesman said.

‘So ba­si­cally schools would nor­mally pay for a cer­tain type of sub­sti­tu­tion any­way.

‘So there is a model or prac­tice in schools of paid sub­sti­tu­tion.

‘So we be­lieve that by with­draw­ing from this part of the scheme that schools will be able to re­main open.’

Strike ac­tion begin­ning on May 16 ‘to force the is­sue on equal pay in the con­text of pay talks’ was voted down.

The ASTI will bal­lot its mem­bers on in­dus­trial ac­tion in Septem­ber if equal pay for equal work is not achieved.

The TUI voted to take the same ac­tion dur­ing its con­fer­ence in Cork yes­ter­day.

‘This close to exam sea­son the mem­bers felt that it would be the wrong time to strike be­cause peo­ple would be get­ting ready for ex­ams,’ ASTI pres­i­dent Ed Byrne said. ‘We do know our stu­dents are un­der enough stress al­ready with­out adding [to it].’

Teach­ers hired post-2011 are on a lower pay scale to their col­leagues hired be­fore.

This re­mains a source of dis­con­tent across all teach­ers’ unions.

Ten­sions have run high dur­ing the ASTI con­fer­ence in Kil­lar­ney, Co. Kerry.

Del­e­gates have crit­i­cised union lead­er­ship, with some say­ing they have been left out in the cold as a re­sult of the re­jec­tion of Lans­downe Road. It was re­vealed this week that the union has lost 450 mem­bers since the start of the year.

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