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Resolutions Adopted

Wednesday 3nd April 2013


Clustering of Hours

Congress demands that schools be allowed to combine, where appropriate, resource teaching hours, learning support hours and principal release days to create viable teaching posts of 25 hours.

Maternity/Adoptive Leave

Congress:

a. notes the changes to maternity leave and adoptive leave in lieu for teachers and SNAs as announced in Budget 2013;

b. condemns the budgetary changes to the maternity/adoptive leave entitlements for teachers and the taxing of maternity benefit;

c. calls on the CEC to:

(i) investigate all legal avenues to challenge these changes;
(ii) initiate an immediate campaign to reverse these changes.

Newly Qualified Teachers

Congress:

a.        re-iterates the resolution passed at Congress 2011 for a campaign to ensure that new entrants to the teaching profession are treated equally to other teachers in areas of pay parity, pension parity, security of tenure and equal employment conditions;

b.  instructs the CEC to:

(i) ensure that in any future negotiations all current and future teachers’ pay and conditions are protected;

(ii) immediately negotiate upward equalisation of pay and conditions for those who have been appointed to teaching since 1st January 2011.

Special Education

Congress:

a. deplores cuts to SEN provision, including:

(i) the reduction of resource teaching hours by 15%;

(ii) the very long delays in allocating resource teaching hours after diagnosis;

(iii) the recent NCSE announcement that newly diagnosed SEN must now be addressed within existing resource hours until the following academic year;

(iv) the DES expectation that diagnosed SEN can be catered for from within the school’s current resource teaching hours allocation;

b. instructs the CEC to vigorously negotiate with DES and NCSE to ensure that where special education needs have been diagnosed, that resource teaching hours must be sanctioned within one school term.

Teacher Unemployment

Congress acknowledging the employment crisis facing many members and potential members, instructs the CEC to negotiate with the DES to:

a) immediately create employment opportunities for non-permanent teachers (NPTs) by:

(i) allowing permanent teachers to job-share with NPTs;

(ii) extending current job-share opportunities to principal and deputy principal teachers;

(iii) facilitating career breaks of less than one year’s duration;

b) allow NPTs to complete their probationary period in job-share positions.

School Self-Evaluation

Congress:

b. notes with grave concern the business model approach to school selfevaluation;

c. demands that school self-evaluation:

(i) focus on teaching and learning rather than excessive paperwork;

(ii) not increase the workload of teachers or principal teachers;

(iii) not be dominated by the outcomes of standardised assessments but maintain a balanced approach to pupil assessment which supports the broad curriculum;

(iv) be accompanied by increased resources to underpin teacher support for the national literacy and numeracy strategy.

Amalgamation

Congress demands:

a. that the CEC immediately initiate a review of INTO/CPSMA/DES amalgamation of schools policy. This review to be in line with the recommendations of the INTO Task Force on Small Schools Report and include, in particular, increased clarity regarding:

(i) who initiates and leads the process;

(ii) at what stage the process would automatically commence in the case of a small school with an irreversible decline in pupil numbers;

(iii) the establishment of a range of incentives where it is the preference of small schools to amalgamate.

 

Tuesday 2nd April 2013

Taxation

Congress:

a.         notes that:

(i)         since the beginning of the current economic crisis, teachers and the education system have paid a heavy price for the recklessness of bankers, developers and their political allies;

(ii)        adjustments in the public finances have been weighted towards spending cuts rather than towards revenue raising;

(iii)       General Government Revenue as a percentage of GDP in Ireland is significantly below the EU 27 average;

b.         recognises that progressive taxation measures, on income and wealth, have the capacity to make a significant contribution to fiscal adjustment and should do so;

c.         demands that the government focuses more on revenue raising than on the cutting of public services in making fiscal adjustments;

d.         endorses a range of measures on taxation, including those which follow, as contained in the ICTU Pre-Budget Submission 2013:

(i)         a new top rate of income tax of 48% for individual incomes of over €100,000, or a corresponding increase in USC for such individuals;

(ii)        an increase in the minimum income tax payable by high earners (over €100,000) to 35%;

(iii)       a reduction in the number of days for tax residency in respect of tax exiles/tax fugitives to 90 days;

(iv)       a 1% wealth tax;

(v)        a fair and progressive property tax;

(vi)       a greater contribution from profitable corporations; and

(vii)      the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax as already agreed in 10 EU countries.

School Funding

Congress:

a.         reminds the Minister for Education and Skills that Article 42.2 of the Constitution states that ‘The State shall provide for free primary education’;

b.         deplores the totally inadequate level of state funding of primary education and the fact that many national schools find themselves running up overdrafts in order to maintain minimum standards within their schools;

c.         condemns the government decision:

(i)         to reduce the school capitation grant;

(ii)        to abolish the summer works scheme and the annual minor works grant;

d.         instructs the CEC to:

(i)         pursue all measures to secure the reversal of these cuts;

(ii)        demand the payment of ICT grants to all schools in order to protect the investment made by the DES in schools’ technological infrastructures.

School Leadership

Congress, recognising the impact on the working life of school leaders of continuing cut backs in public expenditure and increasing bureaucratic demands on schools:

a.         demands that principal release days for teaching principals be increased to one day per school week;

b.         condemns the non-payment of the minor works grant to schools and calls for its immediate reinstatement;

c.         notes the unfair and disproportionate manner in which the moratorium on promotion is impacting on some schools and calls for a negotiated alleviation to the moratorium for all schools;

d.         calls for payment of the award for principal and deputy principal teachers recommended by the second Benchmarking Body;

e.         demands that any changes as part of any new Croke Park deal shall not increase the workload of principal teachers;

f.          seeks a 12.5% increase in the ancillary grant for schools to provide the necessary support services to schools; and

g.         demands that additional responsibility shall not be imposed on any school leader due to changes in VAT and RCT requirements on schools.

Small Schools

Congress:

a.         notes the absence of progress made by the CEC in relation to implementing the objectives of the INTO with respect to small schools, as agreed at the Special Congress on Small Schools, June 2012;

b.         condemns the pressure that is being exerted on rural schools by the revised staffing schedule;

c.         demands that the staffing schedule be immediately revised with particular reference to the protection of small schools and condemns retrospective changes to the schedule;

d.         instructs the CEC to rigorously follow through on the task force/Special Congress recommendations to protect and support small schools.

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