The Taoiseach, the Minister for Education and Skills and the Government have broken their agreement with the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland.
They have locked out teachers and locked out 250,000 students. There is only one industrial relations agreement between the Department of Education and Skills and the ASTI and that is the Haddington Road agreement, freely entered into by the Department of Education and teachers. Except where that agreement explicitly states otherwise, the agreement expired last 30 June. Crucially, a key area where the agreement extends into the future is that of supervision and substitution and how these are to be paid for. The agreement states that:
A gross additional payment equivalent to the 2011 lower payment rate paid for supervision and substitution will be included in the common basic scale for teachers. This will be included in two moieties with half included in the school year 2016/17 and the second half included in the school year 2017/18.
Teachers turned up for work to teach but the Taoiseach and his Minister broke their agreement by refusing to pay for substitution and supervision. They closed schools, locked out teachers and locked out students rather than honouring an agreement that they freely entered into. They are prepared to pay parents, citizens and members of another union in the same school but they are not prepared to honour the agreement they freely made with the ASTI.
Clearly this is not a question of money. It is an attempt to coerce and bully a union into a new agreement and Mussolini, Franco and their Irish blueshirt ally, General O’Duffy, would be proud of the Taoiseach and his Government today. His claim that the ASTI has unilaterally withdrawn from Croke Park hours is completely false. The Haddington Road agreement makes no provision for the maintenance of these hours beyond 30 June and, as the Taoiseach well knows, the majority of teachers do additional hours far in excess of Croke Park on an ongoing basis to support and develop students in music, arts, drama, sports, transitional year projects, etc. In any event the Croke Park hours have not been worked for months and this has not necessitated the closure of schools.
The Taoiseach and his Government are breaking the Haddington Road agreement. They are locking out teachers and using students as pawns to bully the ASTI into an agreement. Will the Taoiseach stop breaking the Haddington Road agreement, pay for supervision and substitution and allow our students and children back to school? Will he and his Government stop locking out teachers and holding students as hostages to force a trade union into an agreement to which it is not party and which union members have rejected? The Taoiseach should leave William Martin Murphy, the infamous Dublin employer who locked out workers in 1913, in his grave. He can stop the lock-out today to allow teachers and students back to work and he should allow the right to free trade unions in this country.
Despite the weather, there was a huge turnout in support of Mental Health Reform outside Leinster House this afternoon. It was a very emotional and powerful demonstration. More investment in our services is vital and these cuts must be reversed. #iscuisme #IAmAReason
Seamus Healy TD – 0872802199
Change was in the air on Saturday last as 80,000 people took to the streets of Dublin demanding the abolition of the hated water tax.
Right 2 Water campaigners including Deputy Seamus Healy, from all over County Tipperary joined the pre-election demonstration organised by Right 2 Water, Right 2 Change.
The huge turnout on the last Saturday before the election sent a clear message to the outgoing government that public anger at water charges remains unabated and will be reflected in the ballot boxes on Friday.
But it was always clear that the hundreds of thousands who have taken to the streets of our towns and cities over the past eighteen months have not just been protesting against water charges.
Water charges have been the tipping point for many people – but they are just one manifestation of the austerity policies pursued by the outgoing Government and the previous Fianna Fail/Green coalition.
On Saturday we also heard from two homeless women who took to the stage with their children to tell the crowd what it’s like to be denied one of the most basic rights in a civilised society: a secure home in which to raise a family.
So far, 106 candidates including Deputy Seamus Healy have signed up to the Right2Change Policy Principles – the principles which would underpin a new progressive Government.
This coming Friday, February 26th, people in every constituency will have a chance to vote for one or more ‘Candidates4Change’. Another Ireland will become possible on polling day”,
Seamus Healy TD
Marks and Spencer is trying to impose cuts in pay and conditions on workers at M&S
Mandate has served strike notice and the first one day strike takes place on Saturday next (the day after to-morrow as I write).
Support for the strikers is being nationally co-ordinated by Shane Fitzgerald of “Were not Leaving” in consultation with Mandate (see message below).
Seamus Healy TD and the Mayor Of Clonmel, Cllr Pat English (Workers and Unemployed Action) will be supporting the strike and will be present near the store in Clonmel and providing refreshments to the strikers.
There are 15 stores in all
Clonmel, Cork(Patrick St and Douglas), Killarney, New Bridge, Letterkenny, Drogheda, Athlone, Navan, Galway, Grafton St and a number in Dublin (ring Shane)
Supporters should take instructions from the strikers and Mandate officials at all times lest anything done would enable management to injunct the strikers in the courts.
Please support the strike in any way you can. Contact the strikers in your local area and be available to help them.
Paddy Healy National Organiser, Workers and Unemployed Action 086-4183732
From Shane Fitz here from Celbridge/North Kildare. I’m involved in this young trade unionist/young activist campaign ‘We’re Not Leaving’ and we had the idea to try support the Marks and Spencers strike this Saturday. Not recruiting or anything, just trying to give it some support and help them get a win.
We think we can provide support(show up with sandwiches and tea for the picket) at the 2 stores in Dublin City Centre, Liffey Valley, Newbridge, Galway and Cork.
David Gibney Mandate Head Organiser has sent us the map of stores and there’s one in Clonmel. Do you thank yourself, WUA and friends might be able to get down to the picket there on Saturday?
086 172 1445