Tuesday 22nd April 2014
Item 1: Composite of Motions 289 and 292:
a) notes the fact that the level of take home pay for teachers and public servants has been reduced by amounts varying between 18% and 30% since 2008;
b) further notes that the price of food, fuel, energy, taxation on homes, health insurance and education costs have increased significantly;
(i) in the context of the expiry of the period where the EU/ECB/IMF Troika controlled Ireland’s finances, that it is essential for INTO and trade unions generally to secure a fairer share of national wealth for workers, to establish decent working conditions and to ensure that public services are well funded and of good standard;
(ii) that wage increases should have priority over tax reductions which will diminish public services;
d) demands that the PRD (pension levy on public servants) be phased out since it is an unfair and selective charge on public servants;
e) instructs the CEC, in co-operation with other unions within ICTU, to recommence the process of pay claims in order to improve members’ pay following a series of cuts since 2008; and
f) supports the work of the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI) in developing and articulating economic policies which take account of the need to grow the economy and bring about greater social equality.
District 15, BLANCHARDSTOWN,
Central Executive Committee
Item 2: Motion 52
Congress demands more support for teachers in one teacher schools and;
a) calls on each diocesan patron to appoint an independent School Support Person(s)(SSP) in each diocese to assist the BOM where pupil numbers are in decline;
b) further calls on the DES to nominate officials to liaise with the Patron body and INTO in relation to these schools;
c) requests, that when a school’s enrolment falls below 26 pupils, the BOM must contact the patron, who must then appoint the SSP to examine future demographic trends, the overall parish situation, distance from other schools, ethos and language, etc and advise the BOM accordingly;
d) if, on examination, the SSP projects continuing falling enrolment then the BOM should be given certain recommendations to create a sustainable school;
e) if one of these recommendations is amalgamation and the BOM agree to enter an amalgamation process and following consultation with INTO and DES the newly created school, through the SSP must be granted as standard:
(i) a concessionary post;
(ii) school transport;
(iii) new accommodation, if required;
(iv) all resource hours and supports automatically transfer;
(v) all school resources must be ‘frozen’ until the amalgamation is complete even if the enrolment falls below 20;
(vi) the amalgamation process be completed as speedily as possible;
f) should the BOM, as is their right, refuse to amalgamate if that is a recommendation, then the principal of that school at that time should be allowed to apply for Panel Rights and maintain his/her principal’s allowance.
Item 3: Composite of Motions 317 and 323
Congress demands that the DES establish a Working Group to examine and report within a year on the roles, responsibilities, rights and workload of principal teachers in primary schools and that this Working Group make prioritised and costed recommendations, including a timeline for their implementation, to support the effective:
a. management and administration of primary schools;
b. implementation of the primary school curriculum as intended;
c. leadership of the school community;
d. development of positive relationships;
e. provision of support services to schools; and
f. on-going professional development of school leaders.
Congress further demands that the moratorium on middle management posts be lifted in order to share workload and facilitate the development of school leadership.
Central Executive Committee, ENNIS
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
Item 4: Composite of Motions 214, 251, 232 and 219
(a) condemns the many cuts to the provision of supports for children with special needs;
(b) demands that the NEPS service be extended so that:
(i) all children who require consultation or assessment would be able to access these resources in a timely manner;
(ii) access to an assessment, diagnosis and support is provided as necessary;
(c) further demands:
(i) the reversal of the 15% cut to resource hours of children with Special Educational Needs;
(ii) that for every child diagnosed with MGLD in a school, an extra 0.2 of a learning support post would be allocated to meet the specific needs of that child;
(d) calls on the CEC to enter into negotiations with the DES to ensure the continuation of the specialised Visiting Teacher Service for Children who are deaf or hard of hearing and children who are blind or visually impaired (VTHVI) following the current review.
THE CURRAGH BRANCH, CLARE EAST, District 15, DUBLIN NORTH WEST, BALLINAMORE/BREIFNE, District 14, DUBLIN NORTH CITY
Item 5: Composite of Motions 68 and 106
Congress demands that:
a) the CEC continues to lead the INTO in our campaign to reduce class sizes in line with EU class size norms;
b) the CEC lobbies strongly for the urgent reinstatement of criteria for teacher allocation and retention for 2, 3 and 4 teacher schools as set out in Circular 0019/2011.
KILKENNY CITY, Central Executive Committee
Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Item 6: Motion 342
a) notes the fact that while teachers’ pay levels have been cut again and again since 2008 the workload imposed on teachers and principals has continued to rise and rise;
b) expresses its concern that the increasing workload, demands and paperwork expectations in relation to a teacher’s job function is leading to a considerable increase in stress amongst primary teachers at all levels;
c) states emphatically that the resultant stress levels are not acceptable to the INTO;
d) declares that the preparation and paperwork expectations placed on NQTs in particular are generally excessive and that the resultant stress levels are not acceptable to the INTO;
e) calls on the CEC to:
(i) urgently address the issue of work-related stress and immediately seek to reduce the workload of all primary teachers, including NQTs and principals;
(ii) research and survey the membership on all aspects of workload, expectations and work-related stress and report back to Congress 2015 with the findings;
(iii) explore in the context of this research whether, given the ever-increasing performance demands for the planning and teaching of all curricular subjects, the time has come for a radical change in the number of subjects a primary teacher is expected to assume responsibility for.
District 15, BLANCHARDSTOWN
Item 7: Composite of Motions 32, 14, 8 and 7
Congress deplores the totally inadequate funding of primary education and calls on the CEC to demand that:
a) the reductions made over the past years to the school capitation grant be restored in full immediately;
b) the minor works grant and the summer works scheme be fully reinstated on the calendar of grants;
c) every school receives a reasonable budget to provide for the maintenance, repair and replacement of school ICT equipment and that high speed broadband be made available to all primary schools.
BALTINGLASS, MIDLETON, ATHY, ROSCOMMON
Item 8: Composite of Motions 186, 185 and 184
a) notes, with concern the series of attacks on longstanding conditions of employment within the public sector initiated by the current and previous governments;
b) objects to the serious deterioration in sick leave and pay entitlements of teachers on sick leave;
c) reaffirms that a key role of this union and the CEC is to resist such attacks;
d) instructs the CEC to begin a campaign immediately for the reversal of changes to sick leave and to pay entitlements of teachers on sick leave;
e) further instructs the CEC to negotiate with the Dept. of Public Expenditure and Reform to ensure that only actual teaching days are reckonable for the purposes of calculating the number of days taken as sick leave;
(i) that the INTO negotiates additional Medmark centres to facilitate INTO members in isolated areas;
(ii) that the operation of Medmark be reviewed by the end of December 2014.
District 15, BLANCHARDSTOWN, AILEACH
Item 9: Motion 168
a) notes that:
(i) teacher supply is not appropriately regulated in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland;
(ii) the report of the International Review Panel on the Structure of Initial Teacher Education Provision in Ireland (July 2012) stated that the Review Panel “was surprised and concerned that the issue of teacher supply and demand has not been addressed in Ireland as it has elsewhere” (page 19);
(iii) restrictions are applied to the publicly funded Colleges of Education in the Republic of Ireland, but not to the private provider, Hibernia College, which has substantially increased its output in recent years;
b) believes that regulation of teacher supply is essential to maintain professional standards, to provide a reasonable prospect of employment opportunities and to guarantee a professional probation placement for every teacher education graduate;
c) calls on the Minister for Education and Skills, and the Teaching Council, in cooperation with the Education partners and Colleges of Education, to set out a ten year (2015 – 2025) teacher supply plan to meet the criteria outlined at (b) above.
Central Executive Committee
Item 10: Composite of Motions 234, 242 and 209
a) notes the very positive outcomes for students stated in the DEIS report 2013 and recognises the efforts made by the teachers in DEIS schools to achieve those outcomes;
b) supports the concept that schools in areas of socio-economic disadvantage be provided with additional supports in staffing, funding, building, book and other schemes;
c) believes that it is necessary to have a review of criteria for inclusion in the DEIS scheme in order to facilitate applications from schools, and calls on the DES to undertake such a review this year;
d) condemns the reduction of supports in primary education and calls for the reinstatement of dedicated supports for non-English speaking children and for children from the Traveller community;
e) calls on the DES to recognise and support disadvantage in all schools through the reinstatement of the supports for disadvantage in non-DEIS schools.
District 15, DUBLIN NORTH WEST,
Central Executive Committee, CAHIR
Item 11: Composite of Motions 163 and 166
Congress calls on the CEC to ensure that:
a) whatever probation process is embarked upon in the future should be fair, transparent, consistent and professionally sustainable;
b) principals and mentors should not be required to take an evaluative role in the probation of NQTs and that their workload should not be increased;
c) the Teaching Council explores options to engage either the Inspectorate, retired teachers or other specifically trained professionals to probate NQTs.
DUBLIN SOUTH COUNTY, District 9
Item 12: Motion 206
Congress welcomes the introduction of the Aistear programme in infant classes and calls on the DES to:
a) provide comprehensive in-service training for all teachers and school leaders involved in the implementation of Aistear;
b) set an equitable pupil-teacher ratio in all infant classes to enable teachers to implement Aistear methodologies;
c) provide classroom assistant support in all infant classes, staffed by appropriately trained classroom assistants;
d) provide adequate funding to ensure implementation thereof.
DUBLIN CITY SOUTH EAST
Item 13: Motion 162
Congress demands that the DES provide all school staff members and BOM personnel with a one day in-service prior to the implementation of the DES anti-bullying Circular 0045/2013 'Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools'.
Item 14: Motion 239
Congress demands that:
a) the CEC establish a campaign for a review of the Circular 058/2013 to allow for discretion in relation to the appointment of HSCLs;
b) the CEC also establish with immediate effect a formal consultation and reporting mechanism involving representation from all HSCL clusters across the country to:
(i) enable comprehensive engagement with HSCL coordinators on latest developments in relation to HSCL;
(i) inform union policy in relation to the service;
c) a formal INTO position on the OCOTOP model be established only after full consultation has taken place with all HSCLs, not just those in pilot clusters/schools.
DUBLIN NORTH WEST
Item 15: Motion 174 amended
Congress, noting the number of teachers who have been assaulted in the course of their teaching work, demands that the CEC enter into negotiations with the DES to establish a separate system of work-related assault leave that does not impinge on existing sick leave arrangements.