Teachers’ union says no to pay deal

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland has become the latest union to recommend its 17,000 members reject the terms of Croke Park II.

The ASTI council decision means ICTU-aligned unions representing almost 100,000 public service workers have now advised members to reject the deal.

The union’s standing committee said public sector workers had already taken a 14% reduction in pay and had delivered additional work and “substantial savings” under the first Croke Park agreement.

It said the fairer way for the Government to achieve additional savings was through a more progressive tax system.

“Teachers have reacted angrily to proposals of further pay cuts and a worsening of working conditions,” the committee said in a statement. “The proposals come at a time when second-level schools are reeling from the impact of the education cutbacks, including significant reductions in staffing and resources.”

Four of the anti-deal unions, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Civil, Public and Services Union, Unite and the Irish Medical Organisation announced details of a joint national campaign for a “no” vote on the deal.

Over the coming weeks the unions will begin a number of anti-deal measures including a series of meetings across the country to highlight their opposition to the proposed agreement. a public information, postering and advertising campaign on why public servants should vote “no” and a lobbying campaign focussed on TDs and senators.

The union leaders said they had the backing of their members who “have asked us to campaign vigorously to defeat it and we are responding to that call”.

IMO director of industrial relations Steve Tweed told RTÉ radio non-consultant hospital doctors faced cuts of 14-16% in gross pay as well as an additional five hours of rostered work per week on top of already “illegal and dangerous” hours being worked.

The overall campaign is based around five key objections:

*The disproportionate impact of the reduction in unsocial hour payments for lower-paid workers.

*The impact of proposals to freeze and delay normal increments.

*The imposition of longer working hours.

*The “draconian” redeployment arrangements which will facilitate involuntary redundancies for the first time in a national agreement.

*Proposals to change flexible arrangements for shift working.

Meanwhile, there was some good news for pro-agreement bodies with the executive committee of the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association recommending acceptance of the LRC proposals.

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