Donegal teacher Joanne Irwin has been elected President of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) by a significant majority following a national ballot of members. Ms Irwin is a second level teacher of Business and ICT in Donegal ETB and has served as Vice-President of the Union since 2014.
She has taught in second level mainstream, adult education, BTEI, VTOS, community education and further education, Youthreach at third level.
Her term of office begins in July and the TUI represents 15,000 members.
A daughter of Rose and Joe, Joanne is from Killygordon.
Speaking about her election Joanne Irwin said:
“I am delighted to be elected President of TUI and I look forward to the various challenges ahead.’
‘As TUI President, I will prioritise the campaign for income parity for new and recent entrants to the teaching profession and further highlight the precarious employment status of many teachers and lecturers. We cannot allow a situation where reduced pay and low hour contracts result in the teaching profession becoming increasingly less attractive to the country’s best young graduates, when they can earn considerably more in industry and enjoy full hours, better job security and promotional prospects from the start of their career.
“Another critical issue is the funding crisis in Institutes of Technology. Funding for the sector fell by €190m (35%) between 2008 and 2015. Over the same period, student numbers rose dramatically by 21,411 (32%) while 535 (9.5%) lecturing positions were lost. As a direct result of several years of these budgetary cuts, today’s students experience larger class sizes and less access to laboratories, equipment, materials, libraries and tutorials. This is completely unacceptable.’Meanwhile, there is much work to be done in securing appropriate contracts and terms and conditions for those working in the further and adult education sectors.”
“Above all, I will endeavour to have education prioritised by Government as the key driver of our economy.”
For further comment, please contact: Joanne Irwin, Vice-President, TUI (President from July 1st) 087 9702 295