'I hope it’s dead' - ASTI chief calls for end to legislation restricting industrial action

'I hope it’s dead' - ASTI chief calls for end to legislation restricting industrial action

The general secretary of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), Kieran Christie, has described Fempi legislation on industrial action by public service unions as “draconian and repugnant.”

“I hope it’s dead, we’ve been calling for its burial for years,” he told RTE’s News at One when asked if he thought it would be used against nurses who recently carried out a number of days of industrial action.

"It (Fempi) should never have been used against the ASTI and should not be used against the nurses," he said. “It is intolerable.”

The legislation had been drawn up at a time when there was an emergency, but he pointed out that former Minister for Finance Michael Noonan had said a number of years ago that “the emergency was over.

“Why are we talking in 2019 about the application of emergency legislation years after the Minister said the emergency is over?”

Mr Christie said the ASTI will be “looking carefully” at the recommendation of the Labour Court in the nurses dispute.

“We will be parsing it to see if it is of any benefit to our members.”

He said “the jury is still out” on the recommendation as they had not seen all the details and were relying on media reports.

“We understand there is a reference to new entrants which we also want addressed.”

The issue of recruitment and retention is of concern for schools “up and down the country,” he added. It is “a horrendous imposition on the public sector.”

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