Strikes in schools unlikely as teachers’ unions urge their members to accept collective agreements in the public sector

Industrial action in schools has become increasingly unlikely as a number of the country’s main teachers’ unions have recommended that their members accept the proposed public sector collective agreement.

INTO is the latest union to have told its 43,000 members to vote for the deal ahead of their vote later this month.

The online election of teachers will take place from Thursday 22 September to Wednesday 28 September and the result will be announced shortly thereafter.

The union will provide a detailed information brochure which will be available online from tomorrow.

INTO said each member would be given “ample opportunity” to form their own opinion before the survey was completed.

INTO President John Driscoll said: “Our members are living through an incredibly difficult cost of living crisis. With the impact of rising inflation on workers’ ability to make ends meet, triggering Building Momentum’s review clause was absolutely right.

“After lengthy and intense negotiations, we finally have proposals to recommend that our key negotiators believe are the best right now. I urge all INTO members to support this agreement by voting yes to secure the pay rises that are in place This union will continue to work to support our members who, like all workers, have struggled over the last year .”

Under the deal, struck at the end of August, public sector workers will receive wage increases of between 6.5 and 8 percent, depending on how much they earn.

Lower-paid public sector workers are in line for wage increases of up to 8 percent over two years.

An initial 3 percent increase backdated to February would be followed by further increases of 2 percent and 1.5 percent or a higher sum of €750 for lower-paid workers.

This is in addition to 1 pc or €500, whichever is greater, and is due in early October 2022. The minimum payment of €750 per year from next October means a total package worth 8 pcs for employees earning €25,000 and 7 pcs for a person earning €37,500 per year

Siptu’s National Executive Council (NEC) has also recommended that its members accept the terms of the proposal before voting.

Siptu said the proposals were “consistent with previous civil service agreements that prioritized the position of low- and middle-income earners,” citing Public Expenditure Secretary Michael McGrath’s “position” that “economy-wide Measures on the cost of living to do so would accompany pay improvements”.

“If these proposals are adopted, the current civil service agreement will be extended until the end of December 2023. Negotiations for a follow-up agreement for 2024 and beyond are expected to take place in the summer of 2023,” a Siptu spokesman said.

“Accordingly, the SIPTU National Executive Council recommends the adoption of these proposals in a secret ballot to be held between Monday 12 September and Wednesday 5 October 2022.” Strikes in schools unlikely as teachers’ unions urge their members to accept collective agreements in the public sector

Fry Electronics Team

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