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(sup) (en) Education in the north of Ireland - an update

From Al <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Tue, 28 Sep 2004 13:07:46 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

End of Industrial Action
Following a meeting between the main teachers’ unions
and Education Minister Barry Gardiner, industrial
action which had hoped to bring about teachers’ 2002
pay parity claim has now officially ended.

Pay parity with teachers in Britain will now not be
back-dated but will come into force from September 1st
2005. Across the north, 13,500 teachers will lose out.

Adding insult to injury, trade unions received
confirmation of the Performance Review Staff
Development Scheme (PRSDS) – the introduction of
performance-related pay which will mean greater
bureaucracy, more administration and heavier


Performance-related pay will, as in Britain, create a
two tier system of payments and engender a climate of
snooping, mistrust and favouritism in schools. PRSDS
will in turn lead to greater individualism, and less
teamwork apart from it being virtually impossible to
identify which teacher, or set of teachers, has
contributed to a pupil’s progress. In Britain, there
has been no sign that PRSDS has enhanced teaching or
learning standards.

Trade Union Unity?

Last Saturday, the INTO organised a ‘Central Committee
meeting’ (Printout, September 2004, INTO) in the plush
surroundings of the Ramada Hotel, Belfast, as a
response to the failed industrial action and the
implementation of performance-related pay. The meeting
was free to INTO members, but £25 to non-members. This
is hardly inducive to those teachers in other trade
unions (ATL, NASUWT and UTU) who might have wished to
attend. Frank Bunting (Northern Secretary of INTO) can
say ‘the unity and spirit of the teachers’ unions
remains undaunted’ (Printout) as long as this unity
and spirit does not have to be translated into any
action! One of the reasons why industrial action in
the north fails is because of the lack of unity in the
trade unions (the INTO were the only union to oppose

Educational Workers Network

It is clear that educational workers in Ireland need a
network of support that crosses all barriers: those of
religion, type of trade, membership of trade unions,
and which can build up broad-based support in our
communities. Recently, Education and Library Board
staff in the north have threatened industrial action
against the government’s block on pay awards. Thousand
of UNISON members, including classroom assistants,
caretakers and clerical workers, are willing to go on
strike over the issue. Let us hope a network can be
set up in time to support their action.


(personal capacity)


Article on Educational Workers Network

Debate on Education

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