JobBridge and union discipline June 10, 2014Posted by Tomboktu in Austerity, Employment Rights, Trade Unions.
An interesting item in the June 2014 issue of In Touch, the magazine of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO), available to read online here.
On page 9, we have the following:
Following extensive consultation with members and discussions at an INTO Branch and District Officers’ Conference on 12 November 2011, the CEC decided at a meeting on 17 November 2011 not to support the JobBridge National Internship Scheme for graduates. The scheme is viewed by INTO as being exploitative of newly qualified teachers.
The union backed that up with a Directive to members “not to participate in the JobBridge National Internship Scheme”.
The article does not clarify what the union means by “participate”. But it has caused problems within the union.
Since May 2013, 28 complaints against 22 members have been received and have/are being processed under Rule 104 and 105 of the INTO Rules and Constitution. These complaints have all been made by members alleging that an identified INTO member breached the INTO directive. In all cases, concilliation was unsuccessfully attempted to bring about a resolution of the matter.
When it was originally issued, that Directive led to queries, and in August 2013 the union’s
CEC confirmed its view to district secretaries […] that the INTO directive on JobBridge applies only to teaching positions within a school, but included posts advertised with other titles that were clearly designed to recruit a qualified primary teacher to a teaching poition.
It is not a good position for a union to be in to have 22 members, even in a large union like the INTO, undergoing a disciplinary process.
What the article does not provide information on is whether the 22 are newly qualified teachers who are alleged to have taken up JobBridge placements or are others such as school principals who are alleged to have recruited or facilitated the recruitment of qualiied teachers into JobBridge placements, or a combination of both.
It would be interesting to see if the directive could have any bite and provide the basis for the union to take legal indistrial action.