Teachers no longer able to absorb additional cuts in pay and allowances – Deputy O’Brien
Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has said the rejection by the three main teaching unions of the Croke Park II Agreement demands a radical rethink on the part of the government.
The Cork North Central TD was responding to the decision of the Irish National Teachers’ Union (INTO) to oppose the cuts that were part of the Labour Relations Committee proposals and the overall rejection of the deal by public sector unions.
He continued: “I am not surprised that members’ of the INTO adopted a similar position to the TUI and ASTI in overwhelmingly rejecting the Croke Park II Agreement which if implemented, would have resulted in further punitive cuts to teachers at primary and post-primary level.
“The government, and in particular education minister, Ruairí Quinn, needs to radically rethink the imposition of austerity measures that are destroying the morale and goodwill of teachers. Quite clearly, teachers are no longer able to absorb the cuts in pay and allowances which are happening at a time when the overall education budget is being decimated.
“Without the dedication of teachers, and the provision of adequate resources, it will be impossible to implement reforming measures such as those proposed for the Junior Cert Cycle and the development of the Literacy and Numeracy strategy.
“The changes to Supervision and Substitution (S&S) were a serious blow to teachers and smaller primary schools in particular as it would have been very difficult to manage the additional hours levied on staff as a result of what was being proposed.
“The unequivocal rejection of the Croke Park II Agreement by the main teaching unions is a massive vote of no confidence in Minister Quinn and it reflects the anger and hopelessness of teachers who have nothing left to give.”