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July/Aug 2017

INTO in the Media

Teachers taking fewer sick leave days than five years ago - Irish Times
31 August 2017
INTO says roughly half of teachers on long-term sick leave dealing with cancer...A spokesman for the INTO said its casework files indicated that roughly half of teachers on long-term sick leave are dealing with cancer diagnosis, treatment or recovery. “One reason for a reduction in sick-leave costs is the unavailability of substitute teachers in the past two years. Thousands of absences have been covered by colleagues by splitting classes up when a teacher is sick....

Seven primary school principals on administrative leave - Irish Times
28 August 2017
Eleven teachers also on leave with full pay while investigations are carried out...The INTO said that in a small number of cases, delays in investigations or in the judicial process have to led to “unacceptably long timeframes” and such delays “placed intolerable stress on teachers in these circumstances”... The INTO described the number of primary school teachers on administrative leave as “low” while adding all investigations against teachers had to be completed “thoroughly”. “They are entitled to fair procedures and due process including an opportunity to respond to allegations, to challenge evidence and call witnesses,” a spokesman said. “Occasionally investigations need to be carried out by gardaí or Tusla. These investigations take time and on occasions, until these are completed, schools are not in a position to lift administrative leave.”

Fianna Fáil seeks equal pay for teachers within two years - Irish Times
25 August 2017
Pledge follows Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor’s break with Government policy...“We will be pushing the Government to agree a roadmap with unions on how full pay equality will be achieved...“We need to reassure teacher unions, especially the INTO, on the new entrant issue, and give them a robust commitment of how full pay equality will be achieved.”...The INTO, which has already rejected the deal, said it hoped Ms Mitchell O’Connor’s comments would gain support at the Cabinet table. “Pay inequality, whether on grounds of gender, age or other grounds, is unacceptable,” said INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan. “The Minister has backed the INTO’s point of view that legislation that allows this is wrong. Primary teachers will welcome the support of Mary Mitchell O’Connor to tackle pay inequality in the profession...

‘Time for Government to pay debt’ to teachers - Irish Examiner
25 August 2017
Teacher unions have welcomed the highlighting of unequal pay by Mary Mitchell O’Connor, even if her view is not supported by others at Cabinet...“These newer teachers have probably contributed hundreds of millions of euro to the economic recovery which is now in place, and it’s time for the Government to pay the debt owed to them,” said INTO assistant general secretary Peter Mullan...

Anger at call for parity on teacher salaries - Irish Examiner
25 August 2017
Junior education minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor is under fire from some of her ministerial colleagues, who have described her comments on teachers’ pay as “deeply unhelpful”...The INTO said teachers have suffered most because of the €500m saved by taxpayers since pay for new entrants to the public service was cut from 2011. More than 7,000 of of 36,000 INTO members are paid less than longer-serving colleagues at the same stage in their careers...

'Everybody that does the same job deserves the same pay' - Minister breaks ranks in new row over teachers' pay - Irish Independent
24 August 2017
Mitchell O'Connor says 'everybody that does the same job deserves the same pay'...Similarly, the INTO welcomed Ms Mitchell O'Connor's comments, saying pay inequality on any grounds was "unacceptable". INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said: "The minister has backed the INTO's point of view that legislation that allows this is wrong. Primary teachers will welcome the support of Mary Mitchell O'Connor to tackle pay inequality in the profession. I look forward to her fighting the case for equality with her Government colleagues at the cabinet table."...

Teachers say asthma scheme ‘a secret’ - Irish Examiner
24 August 2017
Teachers have described as “a well-kept secret” a scheme that allows schools to obtain asthma inhalers for emergencies...The INTO reacted angrily, describing Ms Power’s comments on teachers as “wide of the mark”. INTO president, John Boyle, said there was no reluctance on the part of schools to administer medication. “The thousands of children who attend school regularly, with a range of conditions, are proof of that,” he said. Describing the scheme as “a well-kept secret”, Mr Boyle said no information, equipment, or training had been provided to schools regarding this scheme. Mr Boyle said that given the 20% prevalence of asthma in schools, the inhalers should be sent to all schools, as a matter of course...

Number of teachers on a career break up a third in five years - Irish Times
14 August 2017
INTO says some teachers making the move overseas to save for house deposit...“It is no coincidence that since pay reductions were imposed, most significantly on new entrant teachers, that there was an increase in the numbers on career breaks,” a spokesman for the INTO said. “In recent years there has been enormous recruitment of Irish teachers to work abroad, in particular in the UK and Middle East...higher salaries and professional contracts are the main attractions...

Limerick is worst for crammed classrooms - Limerick Post
22 July 2017
Overcrowding in Limerick primary schools has reached the point that parents have called school principals from maternity wards to get their new born children on to their waiting lists... INTO Limerick representative Joe Lyons told the Limerick Post. "There is no forward planning. Parents have called from the maternity ward to enrol their newborns. They are putting their children's names down in five or six different schools to secure a place on ther waiting lists." Mr. Lyons said he knows of schools where children's names have already been enrolled for 2020...

Class sizes in Letterkenny are 'obscene' - INTO chief - Derry People Donegal News
21 July 2017
Class sizes in primary schools in the Letterkenny area are "obscene", the President of the INTO, John Boyle has said this week. Mr. Boyle, from Mullaghduff, said there are a huge number of schools in the area that have 30 or more pupils per class. He was speaking following the release of figures from the Department of Education and Skills that revealed that 19.4% of children in primary schools in County Donegal are in classes of 30 or more...The INTO is currently fighting for the average European class size to be applied in Ireland. "We want every class size be reduced by one pupil every year".

Bruton's reforms 'failing' as 120,000 children still in 'super-sized' classes - Irish Independent
17 July 2017
Almost 120,000 primary school pupils are still in classes of 30 or more. A child's chance of avoiding a "super-size" class comes down to a postcode lottery...The INTO said the number of children in 'super-sized' classes in Ireland remained unacceptably high. INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan accused the Government of failing in its commitments to reduce class sizes. "Irish primary schools have the second biggest classes in the EU. As long as that is the case, the minister's ambition for education system will fail. "Modern teaching is becoming impossible in overcrowded classes and learning is compromised...

Blow for Donohoe's public pay deal as primary teachers say no - Irish Daily Mail
14 July 2017
...The INTO rejected the pact, negotiated last month, with 19,172 of the union's 36,272 members voting it down...The INTO called on members to reject the terms as they did not tackle pay equality for new entrant teachers. INTO General Secretary, Sheila Nunan, said the vote highlighted just how unacceptable the terms of the new agreement were for its members.

Blow to public pay deal as INTO reject proposal - Irish Examiner
14 July 2017
...Although two of the country's largest unions are recommending acceptance of the package, the INTO vote delivered an overwhelming message it did not go far enough to restore equal pay for recent entrants to the profession. Just over half its 36,272 members voted, and 89% rejected the deal, as recommended by the union executive. While there has been some progress, on a numer of key issues for the INTO there has not been enough progress, said general secretary Sheila Nunan.

INTO Members Reject Public Sector Pay Deal - TodayFM
14 July 2017
National school teachers have rejected the government's public service pay deal. INTO members voted by 89 percent to turn down the draft agreement put forward last month. It was rejected because it doesn't resolve the issue of pay equality for new teachers. The INTO Executive will consider the outcome of the ballot next month...

National school teachers reject government's pay deal with vast majority - Irish Examiner
14 July 2017
National school teachers have rejected the government's public service pay deal with a vast majority. INTO members voted by 89% to turn down the draft agreement put forward last month. It was rejected because it doesn't resole the issue of pay equality for new teachers....

Primary teachers reject new public service pay agreement by overwhelming majority - Irish Independent
14 July 2017
...INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said the result showed clearly that the terms of the agreement were unacceptable to the vast majority of primary teachers. “The proposed agreement does not progress the issue of pay equality imposed by government on new entrant teachers...

INTO rejects public pay deal by 89-11 - Irish Independent
14 July 2017
The Irish National Teachers' Organisation has rejected the new public service pay agreement by an overwhelming 89pc-11pc...Pay for new entrants is a major issue for the teaching unions because of the high level of recruitment of teachers, to cope with rising enrolments, since lower rates were introduced...

'The start of Paschal's troubles': Primary teachers reject public sector pay deal -
14 July 2017
The INTO said that the pay deal did not address the issue of pay inequality for newcomers to the profession. Primary teachers in the INTO have overwhelmingly rejected the new public sector pay deal proposed by the government. In total, 89% of teachers balloted voted to reject the deal. The INTO said that the proposed deal did not “progress the issue of pay equality” for newly-qualified teachers...

National school teachers reject government pay deal -
14 July 2017
The INTO has warned the public service pay agreement fails to address equal pay...INTO deputy general secretary, Noel Ward said the new deal fails to address the ongoing dispute over pay inequality. "In staff rooms throughout the country you have two teachers who are doing exactly the same work but are paid on different rates based essentially on their age," he said...

Primary teachers reject new pay agreement - 9 News RTE
14 July 2017
...Members say the agreement fails to address the key issue of equal pay for new recruits...Interview with Noel Ward, INTO General Treasurer... (move to 10.50)

Primary teachers reject new pay agreement -
14 July 2017
The Irish National Teachers' Organisation has rejected the new public service pay agreement negotiated last month...Ms Nunan also noted that school principals at primary level had been waiting for over ten years for payment of a benchmarking awared intended to reduce inequality between primary and post-primary principals...

Does teachers’ vote signal industrial strife for schools next autumn? - Irish Times
14 July 2017
Analysis: INTO must decide whether to accept majority decision of union movement...The INTO also cited an outstanding award dating back 11 years to the former public service benchmarking process as another ground for not endorsing the draft accord...

Primary teachers reject draft public sector pay deal - Irish Times
14 July 2017
INTO’s executive had urged ‘no’ vote over failure to tackle pay equality among teachers...Sheila Nunan, general secretary of the INTO, said the result showed clearly that the terms of the agreement were unacceptable to the vast majority of primary teachers...

Primary teachers set to reject draft pay deal - Irish Times
13 July 2017
Pay equality between established and new teachers emerges as key issue for profession...The executive of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation – the country’s largest teaching union – has urged its members to oppose the deal on the basis that it did not progress the issue of pay equality between established teachers and new entrants...

Homework ban for happy pupils - Evening Echo
5 July 2017
On those long summer evenings last month, fifth class pupils at Glasheen Girls' NS did activities instead of homework. It was a popular initiative for all...The debate on homework is an ongoing one in this country. Peter Mullan of the INTO has said: "You frequently get teachers who ease off on the written homework as we get nearer the summer. There's no departmental stipulation on how much or how little homework must be given, so it's discretionary. You do find, however, that parents, even for young children, are in favour of written homework. It seems they feel their child might fall behind without it".

Brexit is coming: Actors' union warns over border issue -
5 July 2017
...Incoming ICTU President Sheila Nunan said they were in danger of sleepwalking into Brexit and facing a new European catastrophe with unseen consequences. She told delegates that the best response to Brexit was to rebuild the European social project, but warned that time was absolutely not on their side. She described the position of the Tory government was deeply worrying, and said its decision on fisheries was a shockwave for fishermen...

Unions call for Government to protect workers hit by Brexit - Irish Times
5 July 2017
Actors’ union warns people working for major TV productions such as ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Vikings’ may be impacted...Incoming ICTU president Sheila Nunan told a debate at the organisation’s biennial conference in Belfast on Wednesday there was a danger of sleep walking, not deliberately, into Brexit. She said result in potentially “ a new European catastrophe”. She said this could have unforeseen consequences for workers in the UK, the wider European community and in Ireland, north and south...

INTO concerned about delays in allocating SNAs to schools for next year - Morning Ireland
5 July 2017
Marian Allen, an SNA from Co Meath, says she doesn't know yet if she will have a job in September due to delays allocating special needs assistants to schools for next year; John Boyle, President of INTO expresses frustration at delays in allocating special needs assistants to schools for next year...