Teachers to get ‘indefinite duration’ contracts

The high number of non- permanent teachers — 35% — is destroying the pupil-teacher relationship, the ASTI convention heard.

Teachers to get ‘indefinite duration’ contracts

However, industrial relations officer Bernard Moynihan reported a key advance for such teachers as, under a Department of Education circular, hundreds would be given contracts of indefinite duration (virtual permanent employment) from September 1.

“This is a major advance for those teachers,” he said.

ASTI general secretary Pat King said the setting up of an expert group to look at employment conditions of part-time and fixed-term teachers was highly significant.

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Casualisation and the “hours culture” were destroying the teaching profession, he claimed.

Mr King said the high level of non-permanent teachers was totally unacceptable. It undermined teaching as a career and destroyed the essential pupil-teacher relationship.

Welcoming the circular, he said it would transform teaching from being blighted by casualisation into a respectful and secure career.

“Teachers will now get CIDs [contracts of indefinite duration] after two years in a school and will get a top-up CIDs after one further year,” he told delegates.

“I believe that, within two to three years, we will cut the 35% casualisation figure in half and more.”

Mr King said the union’s opposition to casualisation and the campaign for decency at work was now an ICTU-wide campaign. “In this context, I want to salute our trade union colleagues who work in Dunnes Stores for the courageous stand they are taking against casualisation and low contract hours.”

Separately, a report from the ASTI equality committee highlighted under-representation of women in key influential positions in the 18,000-member union.

Measures adopted by the union to bring about a more balanced gender situation have not closed the gap, according to the report. While 70% of ASTI members are women, there were no women nominees for election to several of the union’s committees, delegates heard.

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