Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien TD, speaking in support of teachers’ industrial action today, said it is absolutely essential that Minister Ruairi Quinn starts negotiations with teachers.
The Cork North Central TD said;
“ASTI and TUI members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in opposition to the proposed introduction of a new Junior Cycle.
“It is unsurprising that this happened considering the bullish manner in which the Minister has ignored the valid concerns they have about Junior Cert reforms and their ability to deliver with little resources or training in them.
“Sinn Féin is not against reform or change to the exam structures but teachers are stretched to capacity, and the lack of consultation with them has compromised the Minister’s ability to deliver any change.
“Nobody wants to take industrial action, but teaching staff are left with little option when they are expected to work miracles with the resources they are given by the Department.
“Teachers are doing their best under the circumstances and I would ask parents to bear this mind when the government are blackening the reputation of the teaching profession.
“I am urging the Minister to begin negotiations with the teachers' unions so that this does not escalate any further.”