Minister bypasses union in pay dispute

28th February 2003 at 00:00
Ireland

THE Irish education minister Noel Dempsey has taken a major political gamble by appealing over the leaders of the main secondary teachers' union to "sell" a pay proposal directly to members.

His decision to hold a series of public meetings on the new system of payment for supervision and substition work has infuriated the leadership of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI). It has accused him of meddling in an internal ballot being held this week and recommended that members reject the deal.

Mr Dempsey's move is a last-ditch attempt to get teachers to provide the type of "cover" they used to do voluntarily. They banned the work last March as part of their 30 per cent pay campaign and temporary non-teaching staff have been doing it since for 38 euros (pound;26) an hour. Now this expensive arrangement could become permanent.

A deal was accepted by the three teacher unions towards the end of last year. They were offered a pensionable payment of around 1,400 euros (pound;950) annually for 37 hours a year supervision and substitution.

But the ASTI does not accept ministers' interpretation of the agreement. It believes that periods when teachers are on call - but not actually working - should count towards the 37 hours total.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?

Subscribe

To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today