Redundancy situations can occur among teachers in schools where:
- a school is being closed;
- a school is being amalgamated; or
- the requirements of a school for teacher to carry out particular work in that school have ceased or diminished.
Closures and amalgamations of schools are referred to as rationalization or re-organisation of educational provision. There is no agreed procedure for specifically handling school closures other than the ‘Guidelines for Handling Teacher Redundancies in Grant-Aided Schools in Northern Ireland’. Where two or more schools are to be amalgamated the agreed procedures are set out in a Collective Agreement – ‘Teacher Redeployment in the Context of School Rationalisation’ (A copy of which can be obtained on request from Northern Office).
There is a legal requirement on every employer of teachers to consult with INTO in each redundancy situation.
INTO’s policy is to oppose redundancies among teacher and to at least retain the maximum number of teacher post in any given situation. Where redundancy situations are unavoidable, INTO will seek to achieve redeployment of the staff concerned to suitable alternative teaching posts. Members requiring detailed information on their personal situation should contact Northern Office.
Redundancies due to School Closure, Falling Enrolments, Financial Deficits or Curriculum Needs
- Proposals for redundancies on these grounds should become available during the early part of the spring Term (January-March). The employers are required to notify all such proposals in writing to INTO Northern Office.
- The information provided should specify the details set out in the ‘Guidelines for Handling Teacher Redundancies’, including the criteria for selecting the teacher(s) to be declared redundant.
- On receipt of such information in Northern Office it will be communicated to the appropriate INTO Area/District Representative and to the INTO School Representative in the school concerned.
- On receipt of this information from Northern Office, INTO School Representatives should convene a meeting of members in the school to inform them of the employer’s proposals and obtain their views on the proposals. School Representatives should not hesitate to contact their appropriate Area/District Representatives at this stage for advice/assistance.
- The views of members on the employer’s proposals should be communicated in writing to Northern Office where it will be arranged to inform the employers of their views for the purposes of consultation.
- Where necessary INTO will arrange to meet with the employer’s representatives to discuss members’ views on the proposals.
- Following these consultations, it will be a matter for the employer to nominate the teacher(s) who it proposes to declare redundant.
- Every teacher nominated will have the right to:-
- Make oral representations; and
- Appeal to an independent Appeal Committee in accordance with the agreed Guidelines for Handling Teacher Redundancies. Member(s)
making such representations or appeals will be entitled to be accompanied by an INTO Representative if (s)he so desires.
At all times through these consultations INTO will seek to ensure that opportunities for redeployment of the teacher(s) facing redundancy are fully explored. It should be noted that INTO takes the view, unless an agreement is reached otherwise in particular circumstances, that such redundancies can only take effect at the end of a school year. As the teacher(s) concerned are entitled to four months’ notice where it is proposed to declare redundancies at the end of August, the consultation process should be completed well in advance of the end of April in any year. Any slippage in this time scale should be notified immediately to the appropriate INTO Area/District Representative or to Northern Office.
NB. In the case of redundancies arising from a school closure, and where the teacher(s) are redeployed, the provision of the Collective Agreement on School Rationalisation in so far as they refer to 'Travel and House Removal' will apply.
Redundancies Due to School Amalgamations
In every case of school amalgamation INTO will insist that there will be no enforced redundancy in the year of amalgamation or in the year immediately thereafter. This policy is strictly in accordance with the Collective Agreement on School Rationalisation. Should redundancy situations occur following this period of protection, they must be dealt with in accordance with the agreed Guidelines for the Handling of Teacher Redundancies.
The employers are required to notify Northern Office of each proposal for amalgamation.
- On receipt of this information, Northern Office will notify members in the schools concerned.
- In liaison with the INTO School and Area/District Representatives in the schools concerned, meetings will be held to obtain members' views on the proposal and to provide advice/assistance to members.
- Views of members on the proposal will be communicated to the employers for the purposes of consultation.
- INTO will only sign the Collective Agreement when it is satisfied that members' views have been properly considered, and any concerns have been satisfactorily resolved.
Redundancy means dismissal and the loss of a teacher's livelihood. It is imperative that all INTO Representatives co-ordinate their activities in any redundancy situation. Every member should be assured that (s)he has the full support of the Organisation at such a time. The Organisation's Representatives are available at every level to members faced by a redundancy situation.