Broad support for teacher strike - TUI

Broad support for teacher strike - TUI
Teachers who went on strike around the county and nationwide on Tuesday enjoyed wide support for their actions the vice-president of the Teachers Union of Ireland stated.

Teachers who went on strike around the county and nationwide on Tuesday enjoyed wide support for their actions the vice-president of the Teachers Union of Ireland stated.

TUI Vice President Joanne Irwin, who also works in the Finn Valley Centre for Education in Stranorlar, says they have not ruled out further strike action for the new year.

The protest action centres on proposed changes to the administration of the Junior Certificate.

Ms Irwin says the event was well supported and peaceful.

“It went very well. I spoke to quite a few reps from around the country afterwards and they said they were getting positive feedback all over the country, from both parents and students. There was good will and there was no complaints or no strike breaking or anything like that, which was a first,” she stated.

She said they are now seeking that Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan TD will move to see the return of an independent chairperson to over see matters.

“The Minister said last night on the news that we had an independent chair in before, Dr Pauric Travers from Ballyshannon, and she was willing to go down that road again where position could be brought back in again and its something we want to see as well. If it happens now, I don’t know?” she stated.

The TUI spokesperson said there is further union meeting planned to for next week and the likely outcome will see another strike date tabled for the new year.

“The executive of both unions are meeting on Friday the 12th of December to decide on a second date for a strike.

“Obviously, as we decide on a date, negotiation will be happening between now and Christmas that many well be called off, but will be setting a date at that meeting for sometime in January,” she explained.

She said once school pupils were informed with what their strike action was about they were supportive of it.

“Many students didn’t realise what it was about. They thought we were against the Junior Cert and practical work, which we are not, we just don’t want to assess it ourselves.”

Both TUI and members of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) set up their bases at numerous school gates with placards demanding protection against education standards and equality and fairness for students.

It was estimated that over 800 secondary school teachers across the county took part in the action.

Unions are demanding external moderators as the proposed changes may not be as fair and open to criticism.

Minister Jan O’Sullivan called the strike action “disproportionate”.