MEMBERS OF TEACHING union TUI are looking for more consultation on the Junior Cycle Student Award – and could ballot for strike action over issues.
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) will ballot members on non-cooperation with the proposed new junior cycle changes on Friday.
Gerard Craughwell, president of the TUI, told TheJournal.ie that “the truth of the matter is we wouldn’t be going where we are regarding a ballot had there been genuine consultation”.
He said that he anticipated the ballot papers would include an option for striking.
Craughwell said that they have a number of concerns that have not been addressed, which include:
- The capacity of schools to meet the programme
- Issues of equity regarding large urban versus small rural schools
Earlier today, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said that members of his department could meet with teachers about their concerns.
“We will always meet with them,” said Craughwell in response, adding that they have been meeting with department officials on the issue already.
However, he stated “clearly none of the issues we’ve put on the table have been listened to”.
Craughwell said that the union does not make threats about ballotting or industrial action “without being very serious about it” and that he is “hoping that the Minister will listen”.
“At this point in time we still have no clear indication as to how this entire thing is going to be resourced,” said Craughwell.
He added that he was “surprised there hadn’t been a much wider public consultation” on the changes, and hoped that there would be public consultation moving into the future.
The TUI has warned that rushed change could do ‘untold lasting damage’.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Charlie McConalogue is urging Minister Quinn to enter mediation talks with teacher representatives on the proposed junior cycle reform.
Deputy McConalogue said: “It’s clear that trust needs to be built up in this process or the reform agenda will go nowhere fast.”
He added that he does not want to see teachers “going down the road of industrial action or non-co-operation or feel that they have to in order for their voices to be heard”.
Unfortunately the the Minister has, until now, paid little more than lip service to teachers and many others who have expressed concerns in relation to junior cert reform plans.