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The Croke Park Hours Threat May 6, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

According to this on the RTE site

Secondary teachers could face compulsory redundancy, an increment freeze and lose out on up to €31,000 by 2020 if they vote to cease performing an extra 33 hours a year introduced under the Croke Park Agreement, according to the Department of Education and Skills.

You can find the details on the Department of Education and Skills site here

The Croke Park agreement was made post crash and any teacher will tell you that the extra 33 hours are the most wasteful use of time imaginable. There’s a guide to what they can be used for here.

It should beggar belief that a Government could carry out the threats listed.


1. levdavidovic - May 6, 2016

I wrote this blogpost about the upcoming ballot on Croke Park Hours. The biggest issue we face is not what they government will, won’t or will maybe do, but the lack of information to facilitate a clear decision. https://t.co/UOQGWP8lLu?ssr=true

Liked by 1 person

levdavidovic - May 7, 2016

A few points to clear up: first, as I said in the blogpost, the ASTI document deliberately, on a vote of the executive, to exclude information from the document linked below. Second: the ASTI is not a party to LRA but by repudiating HRA and the requirements therein, move outside the industrial relations process, putting some of its weakest members on very difficult ground (few if any of whom are on the executive, none of whom are on Standing Committee). And third: how are we to deal with any of the bodies listed in the previous comment if we are outside the negotiation process?


6to5against - May 7, 2016

I’ve read both and I really feel that the ASTI document is a decent summary of the threats being made.

I don’t have any problems with you advocating a vote either way. Tactics are tactics after all. But presenting all of the proposed DES cuts and projecting them decades into the future is not a credible argument Nobody is suggesting that this should be the end of all contact with the employers, and that there will never again be a negotiation. Whatever way we vote next week, the situation will evolve. There will be a resolution.

I do think its important, though, if we’re putting all the information out there, to stress how all the gov’t threats are being made under FEMPI, which is extraordinary legislation. Essentially it removes the right to realistic negotiation, as it always leaves the gov’t with the option of punitive cuts. To bow our knee to that threat now seems a very dubious tactic to me.

Liked by 1 person

levdavidovic - May 7, 2016

First I’m not advocating a vote either way, I just want teachers to know they’re voting in the dark. I would argue that having this ballot at this time is a symptom of the malaise that affects the ASTI and there are other battles to be fought and won ahead of this one. Second the cuts are real, whether taken long term or short, particularly when the policy now is not to talk about anything. The key is that there are people advocating ‘no negotiation’ and rule from the top by ultimatum to the DES. I completely agree with you on Fempi and have spoken repeatedly about the failure of our union and more broadly ICTU to mount a campaign against it. But given that there are no ‘friends’ anywhere for the ASTI among the teacher unions, the wider trade union movement, the fourth estate, or any ‘partner’ you care to mention in education makes such a campaign a dream in a teacher trade unionist’s head.
The ASTI has succumbed to the kind of minoritarianism that may have to run its course before the union can return to making decisions that benefit its members first.


Paddy Healy - May 7, 2016

TUI, ASTI, The two Garda Unions, the prison Officers Association have rejected Lansdowne Rd and are for immediate winding up of FEMPI
Government has to re-certify that a Financial Emergency exists within 6 weeks or FEMPI Falls
I have alerted all opposition TDs to be ready to challenge a vote on the certification
The GRA has said that it will go on strike/march on Dail if FEMPI threats are imposed on the or breach of Lansdowne RD. Gardai have already stopped doing their extra hours/duties as their Haddington Rd terminated at Christmas
It is very foolish to be in talks with a gun to our heads.
As a former president I have strongly advised colleagues to leave the talks unless the threats (which are to all members whose unions have not signed up to Lansdowne RD) are withdrawn
To continue with talks while these outrageous threats are in place is to collude, Like ICTU) with an attack on free trade unions in Ireland
Dublinstreams is right when he says that FEMPI is vicious anti-democratic legislation
TUI and ASTI should get together, invite GRA, AGSI, POA to talks. We should then join the Garda Marches on Dáil


levdavidovic - May 7, 2016

The Garda representative bodies cannot cannot strike, as yet. And if I was to share some of the things ‘trade unionists’ have said at Standing Committee meetings about other unions, you would quickly realise Paddy that the chances of a grand alliance on this are nonexistent, from ASTI point of view at least.


6to5against - May 7, 2016

I suspect I know some of the people you’re talking about, and I know how frustrating they can be. They are absolutist and puritanical, in a leftist sense, and inclined to see backsliding everywhere. I also feel that often they are trying to fight battles through the union that could be fought more properly – and effectively – in a political arena.
I can understand the temptation to fightback(!) against them. But you are wrong to think that they are some how unique to our union – or to any other body. Political bodies will always be full of political people. And you are also wrong if you think that they are they the only ones driving a radical agenda at this time.
Many members, without a broader agenda, genuinely feel that we have to make a stand now. I wouldn’t have chosen the JC issue myself, nor the 33 hours. But as somebody else has said here, the camel doesn’t get to choose which is the last straw.
And I simply don’t agree that the information flow is inadequate. I’ve read your blog and got nothing from it that I hadn’t learned elsewhere.

Let me put this another way. I can see how you want to distance yourself from factions in the union. But are you really happen pushing the exact line that the sec gen of the DES was pushing last week?


levdavidovic - May 7, 2016

You know who I’m talking about alright! I don’t imagine for a second they’re unique to the ASTI and I agree that they are abetted by others who like the whiff of sulphur they provided. I don’t think either these ‘politicians’ or their fellow travellers have the best interests of members at heart and mislead teachers into believing they have a radical vision which masks a profound conservatism.
The action on junior cycle successfully flushed them all out, I’m proud of my part in that, but they couldn’t take the win when it came.
Finally, on the information: when CEC votes to hold back information that ‘might sway the result’ we are in a bad place. The main differences I point out are the lack of comparison chart for cuts if yes, or no; the position of those on CIDs and the lack of clarity on redeployment.
I would put your last comment differently: isn’t it a shame/sham that the DES is providing more complete information than the ASTI?


2. 6to5against - May 6, 2016

I really don’t understand this argument. The union’s position, and the governments threatened response is outlined here:


3. Paddy Healy - May 6, 2016

“It should beggar belief that a Government could carry out the threats listed.”
What really beggars belief is that ICTU leadership has colluded with the FEMPI ACT under which these threats can be enforced. (new Gov is to continue FEMPI in “Deal”)
ICTU is undermining the RIGHT TO FREE trade unions
ASTI is not a party to the Lansdowne RD agreement

ICTU is allowing the government to force a trade union to sign up to an industrial relations agreement which its members have rejected or have its members subjected to savage penalties by law!! Mussolini pioneered this type of thing!
More http://wp.me/pKzXa-gw
This is the greatest betrayal by a trade union leadership in Irish history

This precedent will be used by all future governments unless it is defeated


4. checian - May 6, 2016

Totally agree Paddy, an absolute betrayal. And how the hell can you make a “clear decision”, when teachers are dealing with disingenuous, ideologically driven state apparatuses like DES/Inspectorate, NCCA, JCT & the Teaching Council, who along with Fine Gael & Labour (amongst others) are facilitating the marketisation of Education, as Capital seeks to colonize internal markets as the continuing crisis of capitalism unfolds. Teachers have already rejected the Lansdowne Road agreement and are being bullied into thinking that this is somehow Lansdowne Rd. ballot 2.


5. Paddy Healy - May 7, 2016

The strongest case for striking down FEMPI in The Courts is on the basis of confiscation of pensions which are the private property of pensioners protected by the constitution subject to the public good
ICTU Leadership and its lackies are trying to prevent a case being talen because FEMPI is part of a deal it made with Howlin to force recalcitrant uions into the capitulatory Haddington RD Agreement and Landsdowne RD Agreement
However colleagues and I are pursuing the legal as well as the agitational Route
Campaign for Restoration of Public Service Pensions Through Legal Action Read here; http://wp.me/pKzXa-vB

To read my letter to Howlin demanding restoration of Pension Cuts and the reply of the Minister , read here: http://wp.me/pKzXa-pl


6. Paddy Healy - May 7, 2016

Meeting to Challenge FEMPI PENSION CONFISCATION Next FRIDAY in Dublin
Campaign for Restoration of Public Service Pensions Through Legal Action Read here; http://wp.me/pKzXa-vB
Details at The link


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