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Primary teachers' union won't recommend how to vote on Croke Park

The executive of INTO, which has 32,000 members in the Republic, will ballot its members without a formal recommendation.

INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan: the primary teachers' union will not suggest how its members should vote on Croke Park 2.
INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan: the primary teachers' union will not suggest how its members should vote on Croke Park 2.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE CENTRAL EXECUTIVE of one of Ireland’s largest public sector trade unions has decided not to make any recommendation to its members on whether they should accept the proposed ‘Croke Park 2′ public pay agreement.

The central committee of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation last night decided that while it would put the matter to its members, in a postal ballot to be held over the next six weeks, it would not issue formal guidance on how it believes teachers should vote.

Last night’s meeting of the committee had followed an original meeting on Wednesday, when the committee decided it needed further details from the Labour Relations Commission about the exact impact of the deal.

The INTO is one of the largest public unions, with a membership of about 32,000 within the Republic – equivalent to about 11 per cent of the entire public workforce.

In a statement the union said the latest proposals offered “significant potential gains” for newly-qualified teachers, who are on pay grades significantly lower than their colleagues who entered the system before 2011.

“However, all teachers are affected by the draft proposals, who have already had pay cuts imposed over the last two years,” it added.

“The proposals include changes to increments, the loss of supervision allowance, and the financial impact for members earning over €65,000.”

It said that given the government’s threat to legislate for pay cuts in the absence of an agreement, the deal on the table represented the best possible package of measures that could be secured via negotiation.

Ballot papers will be sent to members on March 14, which are to be returned by mid-April to determine the result.

INTO members approved the original Croke Park deal by a two-to-one margin.

Read: How do workers decide whether Croke Park II is approved?

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Gavan Reilly

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