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INTO says teachers should vote Yes to revised pay deal

The primary teachers’ union says the new proposals are an improvement on the rejected Croke Park 2 deal.

INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan says a Yes vote is not an endorsement of pay cuts, but an acknowledgement that the revised deal is better than the original.
INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan says a Yes vote is not an endorsement of pay cuts, but an acknowledgement that the revised deal is better than the original.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE TRADE UNION representing the country’s primary school teachers has recommend that its members accept revised public pay proposals from the Labour Relations Commission.

The recommendation comes after the Irish National Teachers’ Organiation’s central executive met in Dublin this afternoon to consider its response to the revised proposals.

The proposals – details of which were published yesterday – will still see teachers lose their annual supervision allowance for supervising ‘yard duty’, but will instead see teachers’ pay increased from 2016-17 onward.

Primary teachers will be paid an extra €650 for that academic year, and €1,300 every year afterwards, to make up for the lost allowance.

The alternative proposals also scale back on plans forcing teachers to cover for their colleagues on bereavement leave and uncertified sick leave. In the revised proposals, the first day of this leave will be covered by a substitute.

The increment scale for teachers who entered the profession in the last two years is also adjusted upward, while freezes for increments for teachers on salaries over €65,000 will be scaled back.

High-earning employees will now have two six-month delays for any increments they are due, instead of facing a three-year freeze on any pay increases as had been arranged under the original deal.

INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said the alternative deal now on the table was “better than the government’s alternative proposals”, saying the three-year increment freeze and a permanent loss of allowances “would have a far worse impact on earnings”.

She added that a vote in favour of the deal was “not an endorsement, but an opinion that it is the better of two alternatives”.

The union’s 32,000 members will now be balloted on whether to accept the proposals. Last week members voted to undertake industrial action if the government tried to proceed with unilateral pay cuts.

INTO members rejected the original ‘Croke Park 2′ proposals by 69.5 per cent to 30.5 per cent in their ballot last month. In that instance, the INTO had not issued a recommendation on how its members should have voted.

Read: Doctors and teachers reveal details of revised Croke Park 2 plans

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