SECOND-level students have urged Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe to reach agreement with teacher unions over the ban on middle-management promotions, which they claim may cause schools to grind under the pressure of being underfunded.
The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union expressed disappointment that the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) are to escalate industrial action to ban members from fulfilling duties of posts of responsibility left vacant due to retirement or other reasons.
“It is unfair to expect teachers to provide this additional student support structure without the proper remuneration. We call on the minister to include this as an exception to the moratorium to ensure the smooth running of schools before students suffer as school operations grind under the pressure of a severe lack of resources,” a spokesperson said.
Following a meeting to discuss the implications of the planned industrial action from March 8, the three bodies representing second level school boards are seeking an urgent meeting with Mr O’Keeffe’s officials.
The Irish Vocational Education Association, representing Vocational Education Committees which run 240 second-level schools, is preparing for a doomsday situation where school may not be able to function because of weakened administration.
More than 60 posts in one public service grade at 23 of the 33 VECs, most of them school secretaries, were vacant by Christmas because of the public service recruitment ban.
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