BRANCH A.G.M.: The A.G.M. of the Tipperary Branch, A.S.T.I., will be held at 7:30 on Wednesday, October 17th, in Kearney’s Castle Hotel, Cashel. The meeting will be addressed by Diarmaid de Paor, Deputy General Secretary A.S.T.I., and Vice President Sally Maguire.
This is your chance to meet and engage with the leadership of your Union, and to submit motions for Annual Convention to Branch Secretary, Ms. Faoil O’Rourke (Rockwell College). Notices and agenda have been circulated to School Stewards. We encourage as many of you to attend on the night, and to articulate your opinions on the issues that concern you!
LIVELY BRANCH MEETING LAST WEEK: We were delighted by the energetic engagement by teachers at our Branch meeting in Cashel on Thursday Oct. 4th. The meeting, chaired by Mr. Noel Buckley, was held as an “open forum” for members to address their concerns on the continued attack on education, pay and conditions, and further cuts to the pay of “Newly Qualified Teachers”. Members expressed their solidarity to N.Q.T.’s and their opinion that, as a Union, we actively campaign to reverse the cuts. The meeting heard about the difficulties faced by new entrants in securing employment. A report on the key issues from the meeting is included with the A.G.M. agenda.
FREE MEMBERSHIP FOR N.Q.T.’S: As a gesture of solidarity to N.Q.T.’s, the Standing Committee of A.S.T.I. decided to offer free membership to “Newly Qualified Teachers” who commenced teaching on or after Feb. 1st 2012, or who were student members previously and re-joined this year. We are the only teacher Trade Union to offer this facility to those who are among the most vulnerable in our profession.
JUNIOR CERT REFORM: A.S.T.I. was dismayed at proposals published the Minister on “Junior Certificate” reform programme last week. The reform was initiated in 2009 by the previous Govt., and had been actively participated in by the A.S.T.I. through its presence on the N.C.C.A. body. The reform details released were vastly at odds with the “Framework Document” published in 2011, which recommended retaining a formal terminal State exam with external assessment. General Secretary Pat King has asked school stewards to have a discussion with their members on the implications of the reform document and to send feedback to the Standing Committee representative, Aidan O’Leary, (087)3669385.
WORLD TEACHERS DAY: A.S.T.I. members celebrated “World Teachers Day” in schools all over Ireland on Friday 5th October. This date was designated by the United Nations in 1994 as a day to celebrate the contribution of teachers to society and to highlight the importance of the power of education as a means of liberation. School stewards are reminded to claim a refund for cakes and treats expenses for the day by sending your receipts to our branch Treasurer, Janet de Souza, in Presentation Secondary School, Ballingarry, Thurles.
INSPECTIONS GUIDE: The latest edition of “Nuacht” contains a “Guide to Inspections” which is essential information for every teacher to keep, and for stewards to display in staffrooms. We would love to hear from you about your experience of inspections in your schools!
VOLUNTARY REDEPLOYMENT: The A.S.T.I. has initiated proceedings to force the Department of Education to implement a “Voluntary Redeployment Scheme”, as provided for in the “Public Service (Croke Park) agreement. This is an area of concern to members which the Union is determined to achieve.
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: For all queries you have with contracts, conditions and policy, please contact Aidan O’Leary, Standing Committee Representative. All issues received will be treated in a confidential manner and will be referred to the Union’s Industrial Relations personnel for consultation.