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TUI votes to accept Haddington Road after ASTI members say 'no'

The TUI’s General Secretary said members had accepted the public sector pay deal reluctantly, but that in this case it was the “lesser of two evils”.

Image: Teacher via Shutterstock

THE TEACHER’S UNION of Ireland, which represents some 14,000 second and third level teachers, has voted to accept the Haddington Road deal on public sector pay.

It was confirmed this evening that members had accepted the measures by a margin of 54 per cent to 46 per cent. Just under two thirds cast their vote.

General Secretary of the union John MacGabhann said they had accepted the agreement with “strong reluctance” and viewed it as the “lesser of two evils”. The teachers would have been subject to emergency financial legislation had they rejected the deal. Unlike Haddington Road, that option provides for no restoration in pay cuts being brought in as part of the agreement.

MacGabhann added: “The commitments in the Agreement with regard to improved salary scales for new teachers and lecturers and the enhanced arrangements for award of Contracts of Indefinite Duration must be put in place without delay.”

TUI President Gerard Craughwell said there was a “huge and growing sense of anger and frustration amongst teachers and lecturers” over the increasing burden of additional bureaucratic work that “does nothing to enhance the quality of teaching and lecturing”.

Industrial action

Another second-level union, the ASTI, voted earlier to reject Haddington Road and in favour of industrial action.

Speaking following the outcome, ASTI general secretary Pat King said members were sending the message that “they have given enough”. The union leadership will meet on Monday to discuss its next step.

Speaking to RTÉ News this evening, King said that members had given a mandate for action “up to and including strike action”. He said it was likely that the initial focus would be a withdrawal of “extra duties and hours” including administration work.

Pressed on whether a strike could be called if there was no response to that, King replied “potentially, yeah”.

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