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Resolutions Passed

Teacher Workload

Congress:

(a)       views with deep concern the ever expanding list of initiatives emanating from the DES and others, and states that the expectation that teachers undertake the additional workload and resulting pressure is untenable;

(b)       notes:

1.         the ongoing curricular change in Language and Maths and other initiatives over the past few years;

2.         that these changes are being accelerated without adequate resources, inservice training and consultation which makes their implementation impossible;

(c)       demands that a timetable for curricular change and deceleration of curricular change be agreed;

(d)       further demands that the CEC:

1.         carries out an independent study into how teacher workload has increased over the past decade and the impact it has had and is having on the health and working conditions of members; and

2.         utilises the findings of the report to inform and support its actions to protect all members against the increasing demands being placed on them by the DES, the Teaching Council and other such bodies.

 

Funding

Congress:

(a)       deplores the difficult financial state that Irish primary schools find themselves in as a result of inadequate funding;

(b)       instructs the CEC to demand that:

1.         capitation per primary school pupil be raised to €296 as is paid to voluntary secondary schools;

2.         the additional capitation grant payable to pupils enrolled in special classes also be paid to pupils with diagnosed special educational needs enrolled in mainstream classes;

3.         the payment of grants be in line with the academic year and/or termly instalments to allow for clear financial planning  and  budgeting;

4.         the Minor Works Grant becomes a permanent fixture in the annual school grants calendar;

(c)       condemns the inequality in per capita grant funding for IT in primary schools in comparison with second level schools as per Circular 0011/2018; and

(d)       calls on the DES to allocate an equal funding per capita rate for all schools.

 

Leadership

Congress:

(a)       demands that:

1.         the payment in full, backdated to 1 September 2008, of the deferred Benchmarking Award owed to principals and deputy principals;

2.         the principal’s allowance given to principal teachers in schools from categories 1-6 be increased to match the highest allowance received by a deputy principal in primary schools;

3.         all school staff be included when calculating the number of inschool management posts that are allocated to a school; and

4.         all school staff be included when determining the salary scale of a principal or deputy principal;

5.         all teaching principals be allocated a minimum of one release day per week and all teaching staff be counted when calculating the quota of release days;

6.         a facility be put in place to allow principals to relinquish their position while retaining a portion of their allowance which would reflect their service in the role for pension purposes;

(b)       recognising excessive administrative workload on special school principals arising from the number of staff required to meet the complex needs of the pupils together with the administration of transport, ancillary support services and medical care, further demands that the Department of Education and Skills alleviate this situation by:

1.         appointing administrative deputy principals in all special schools with a teaching staff of eight or more;

2.         sanctioning one release day a week for a teaching principal of a special school with a teaching staff of less than eight; and

(c)       calls on the CEC to use all means possible up to and including strike action to achieve these demands.

 

Pay Equality

Congress:

(a) notes the report presented to the Oireachtas on 16 March, in accordance with Section 11 of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017;

(b) further notes that the Report:

  1. restates the terms of the PSSA;
  2. contains a global costing for the movement of all newer entrants two points further up the pay scale;
  3. shows that this costing amounts to less than 2% of the public service pay bill for 2018;
  4. neither constitutes a commitment by government to pay equality nor addresses the additional, disproportionate layers of pay cuts that were applied to new entrant teachers;
  5. provides no guidance towards a fair and sustainable resolution of the injustice of pay inequality;
  6. anticipates “further engagement over the coming months”;

(c)   accordingly, demands that the proposed engagement must:

  1. commence in April 2018 and conclude by early May 2018;
  2. have the capacity to achieve a resolution of all aspects of pay inequality;

(d) agrees that any proposals that may emerge in respect of a resolution of the issues relating to pay inequality will be put to members in a ballot at the earliest practical time; and

(e) requires that, in the event of continuing failure by government to engage fully to resolve the issues or in the event of failure to resolve the issues in the engagement, a campaign of industrial action, up to and including strike action, as mandated by members, will be pursued, where possible in conjunction with the other teacher unions.

 

Teacher Supply Panel

Congress:

(a)       notes the serious difficulties schools have in securing substitute cover for approved absences and recognises the urgency of establishing nationwide teacher supply panels;

(b)       deplores the stresses on principals, teachers, pupils and parents by substitute cover not being available;

(c)       condemns the DES for not having established a proper national substitute teacher supply panel;

(d)       demands that the creation of teacher supply panels be prioritised in the INTO Lobby Campaign for Budget 2019 and calls on the DES and patrons to set up these panels;

(e)       further demands that:

1.         the CEC puts a system in place in order that a daily record can be maintained of occasions where no qualified substitute can be found to cover approved absences; and

2.         the Teaching Council addresses the issue of teacher supply without delay.

 

Appeals Procedure

Congress instructs the CEC to engage with the Department of Education and Skills to secure a simplified Appeals procedure to appeal a schools SEN Teacher Allocation.

 

Posts of Resposibility

Congress:

(a)       notes:

1.         the limited restoration of middle management posts to schools contained in Circular 0063/2017;

2.         its particular shortcomings in relation to the lack of middle management opportunities in larger schools;

(b)       calls for the immediate reinstatement of all posts of responsibility in line with Circular 07/03 to alleviate the enormous workload now placed on all staff; and

(c)       instructs the CEC to engage with the DES to ensure these posts are restored by Annual Congress 2019.

 

Class Size

Congress:

(a)       notes:

1.         the decline in the number of births in the Republic of Ireland, from over 71,000 in 2012 to below 64,000 in 2016;

2.         that the Education at a Glance Report 2017 (OECD) showed that the average class size in Irish primary schools was 25, compared with an EU average of 20 pupils per class;

3.         that the reduction in the number of births provides the state with an opportunity to plan to finally bring Irish class size into line with EU averages over coming years; and

(b)       demands a continued and sustained reduction in class size each year, beyond the improvement in staffing schedules announced for 2018, until Ireland reaches EU average class size levels.

 

Allowances

Congress:

(a)       acknowledges the commitment of the CEC to pursue equal pay for all teachers;

(b)       recognises the inequality that exists at present in the payment of qualification allowances; and

(c)       demands that the CEC negotiates with the DES for the payment of the Honours degree allowance to all primary teachers or its equivalent in salary.

 

Disadvantage

Congress:

(a)       notes that:

1.         additional schools were invited to participate in DEIS in 2017-2018;

2.         a new process for identifying schools eligible to be in DEIS was implemented in 2017 based on data from the Census 2011;

3.         information regarding schools’ levels of disadvantage has been updated using the 2016 census;

(b)       demands that:

1.         additional resources be provided by the DES to support new DEIS schools;

2.         the current DEIS Band 1 pupil-teacher ratio of 20:1 in infants to second class, 24:1 in senior classes or 22:1 in vertical schools apply to DEIS Band 2 schools;

3.         the current DEIS pupil-teacher ratio that applies to DEIS Band 1 schools be reduced to 18:1 in infants, 22:1 in senior classes and 20:1 in vertical schools;

4.         the original urban Breaking the Cycle schools retain a maximum class size of 15:1 in infant to second classes;

5.         a maximum class size of 18 pupils be introduced in senior classes in the original urban Breaking the Cycle schools; and

6.         the capitation funding for DEIS schools be further increased.

 

Special Education

Congress:

(a)       notes the bringing together of the Special Education Support Service (SESS), the National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) and the Visiting Teacher Service (VTS) to form the NCSE Regional Support Service to support inclusion in schools;

(b)       deplores:

1.         the failure to appoint a Head of Visiting Teacher Service/Sensory Lead person on the senior management team;

2.         the lack of therapy supports available to children with special educational needs;

(c)       demands that:

1.         the NCSE Regional Support Service includes therapy supports, such as speech and language therapy, counselling for pupils with social and emotional needs, play therapy, music therapy and art therapy;

2.         the NCSE extends the behavioural support service to primary schools;

3.         the Regional Support Service continues to appoint qualified teachers with additional qualifications in special education, hearing or visual impairment; and

(d)       calls on the CEC to continue to negotiate with NCSE, to ensure that the 43 Visiting Teachers for Hearing and Visually Impaired posts be maintained as teaching posts with teachers’ terms and conditions instead of the proposals to fill future permanent vacancies as civil service posts.

 

Gaeilge

Éilíonn an Chomhdháil go mbeadh gach ábhar scríofa atá ag teacht amach chuig scoileanna ón Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna trí Bhéarla, ag teacht amach ag an am céanna trí Ghaeilge.

 

Palestine

Congress:

(a)       notes with concern the reported human rights abuses perpetrated on a daily basis against Palestinian school children as recorded in reports from UN agencies and numerous NGOs including Defence for Children International Palestine;

(b)       commends the work undertaken by INTO members in highlighting the plight of Palestinian school children and congratulates the INTO leadership for their support for these efforts to date;

(c)       calls on the CEC to:

1.         continue to support INTO participation in Trade Union Friends of Palestine which was established by the ICTU with the aim of implementing ICTU policy on Palestine;

2.         fully support and promote the ICTU position on Palestine as expressed through resolutions passed at ICTU BDC since 2005 particularly as they pertained to school age children;

3.         explore ways to further develop solidarity with Palestinian schools, teachers and trade unions;

4.         respond to the motion passed at the 2017 ICTU BDC and circulate to the membership the report on Palestine commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia;

5.         raise the issues of the treatment of Palestinian children with the relevant government departments; and

6.         report to Congress 2019 on progress made in relation to the development of solidarity with Palestinian teacher unions and children.

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