Bridging the gap on McCrone
Conditions of service matter more to teachers, it seems, than a straight pay award. McCrone went some way to meeting demands on salaries, whereas pressure of work continues to men that most teachers want freedom to use their non-classroom time as they see fit rather than, as they fear, being subject to yet more injunctions and supervision.
They already work the hours, they say. It is the role of a professional to determine the way they are used. Since political leaders have been loud in praise of teachers' professionalism, not least in the wake of the exams fiasco, it would seem perverse to hem them in.
The employers fear that conditions of service devised for the seventies and eighties will persist. They want a return for the extra money they will have to invest, but in the end their main fight is with the Executive to bridge the huge gap between McCrone's costings and their own estimates.