Teachers deeply concerned about Brexit implications 19/04/17
Teachers deeply concerned about Brexit implications
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
INTO Congress 2017 in Belfast
At INTO annual Congress in Belfast today, teachers expressed deep concern about the implications of Brexit for teachers north and south.
Teachers expressed fear that hard-won employment rights would come apart following Brexit. Once out of the EU, the UK will no longer be obliged to uphold any rights or protections that came from Europe. This has the potential to leave INTO members working in Northern Ireland in a very vulnerable position.
Gerry Murphy, INTO Northern Secretary, spoke of his concern that school funding will continue to drop with the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. “The local economy has slowed down and is reliably predicted to stall further as the looming Brexit becomes a reality,” said Murphy.
The incoming president of the INTO, John Boyle from Donegal, told the conference that there are 320,000 vehicular border crossings at three points in Donegal every week. “Many of those are our members crossing for work,” he said. He said there were potentially very severe threats to trade, people and the Gaeltacht.
Tina McLoughlin also from Donegal warned about a potential return to previous regulations where teachers trained in the north could not work in the south and vice versa. She said a lot of hard work had gone into the mutual recognition of qualifications which must not be put at risk.
The INTO called on both governments to support the continued free movement of people on the island and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. At present, teachers trained in the north may work in the south and vice versa. This flexibility could disappear after Brexit. The INTO backed demands by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) that strategies be put in place to protect existing job levels.