Primary teachers demand mobility within the profession 19/04/17
Primary teachers demand mobility within the profession
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
INTO Congress 2017 in Belfast
At the INTO annual congress in Belfast today, primary teachers called for the establishment of a mobility scheme for teachers.
Speakers acknowledged the substantial gains made by the INTO in securing permanent jobs for teachers.
Teachers with three years’ service can apply to be placed on the supplementary panel which gives them priority access to permanent jobs. Teachers with more than two years' continuous service in the same school are eligible for a CID which is akin to a permanent job.
However, there is no provision for permanent teachers to relocate and maintain permanent status. Teachers who want to move to another part of the country for personal, family or even financial reasons must resign their permanent job and seek alternative employment. There is no mobility scheme in operation. Teachers who wish to move are being forced to leave secure employment to search for uncertain temporary or substitute work.
Other public servants, including secondary teachers, can avail of transfer schemes if they wish to relocate. Primary teachers are seeking the establishment of a voluntary transfer panel, whereby teachers would put themselves forward for transfer and if a post becomes available in their chosen area, it would allow them to move and retain their permanent status.
There is a teacher exchange scheme currently available to teachers but it is only a temporary exchange for a maximum of five years.
Jane Laffan, a delegate from the Middleton branch of the INTO, is currently in the fourth year of a teacher exchange from Limerick City to Cobh in Cork.
She explained that she was teaching for 9 years in Limerick, after which she got married and swapped her job for one in Cork. Her husband is working in Apple in Cork so was unable to relocate. The teacher she exchanged jobs with is now married with a child in Limerick.
Both boards of management would be more than happy to make the exchange permanent.
“The situation both my partner and I will face will be a two hour commute to and from school, we will literally be passing each other on the road. This will not only negatively impact on our lives, our families lives but the quality of teaching our students will receive. It will be impossible to stay on late in school to plan for lessons and to be on time for school on snowy or icy mornings”.
Karina Collins from Mallow is in the final year of the teacher exchange scheme. Speaking to the motion Ms Collins said that if a solution wasn’t found she will be forced back into a three and a half hour daily commute. “Mortgage and childcare commitments make it impossible for me to just resign my job”. She demanded the establishment of a redeployment panel for permanent teachers whose personal circumstances change.
Stephanie Collins, originally from Mayo, was working in Galway when she met her future husband from Limerick, where they decided to settle and buy a house. Stephanie tried to get a teaching job in Limerick to no avail, which resulted in her commuting over three hours a day “for a few exhausting years”. She is now in the fourth year of the teacher exchange scheme which has reduced her commute to five minutes a day. Stephanie and her exchange partner are both very happy with the arrangement. She told delegates that “both of us have set up families and have established strong roots in our communities and schools”. Stephanie called for immediate action on the mobility issue. “Mobility has to be addressed for permanent teachers. Yes, we are in permanent jobs but our problem is we are stuck in them”.