The vice president of the Irish National Teacher's Organisation (INTO), John Boyle, has held a Donegal launch for his campaign to become president of the union.
Mr Boyle (pictured) was elected vice president of the union at Easter and launched his campaign to be president in Dublin in November.
The Donegal launch was held at Mullaghdubh Community Centre on Thursday and funds were raised for Dungloe Community Hospital.
Mr Boyle attended Mullaghduff NS in Donegal before moving to the newly amalgamated Scoil Naomh Duigh Annagaire.
The principal teacher in St. Colmcille’s JNS Knocklyon in Dublin has been teaching since 1986.
The ballot for president will be held among 180 branches across the country in March among 35,000 members in the Republic and 7,000 in Northern Ireland.
Mr Boyle said the main issues he will be campaigning on are those that have been affecting teachers in recent years.
“The issues haven't changed since I became vice president. I have campaigned on an education equality agenda - pay equality for newly qualified teachers, equality of class size for all children - rural school or large schools; and equal funding for primary and post primary,” he said.
Support of special education is another priority, as well as pay restitution and negotiations in Northern Ireland over a zero per cent pay increase that was offered.
“Throughout 2016 the mood has been changing because we have had a number of success - good success on pay equality - we have restored 92 per cent of losses to new entrants who will be getting full restoration from January 1st. We also have a considerable number of new teachers promised in the budget for special education posts for one teacher schools and gaeltacht schools - about 900 extra posts. We also have extra posts in one teacher schools and jobs saved in two-teacher schools.
“As teachers we feel that the pay cuts that happened in 2009 must be reversed. Now that the economy is improving, and with predictions that the economy will grow by five per cent every year between now and 2025, teachers want the losses restored.”
Twelve INTO branches will be meeting in Donegal early in the new year and Mr Boyle will be addressing the Stranorlar branch when it meets on January 11th.
“I will be addressing that meeting and hope teachers in Donegal will attend those meetings and give me a nomination.”