Silent TUI Greets Coughlan Address

The Tanaiste has been greeted by an eerie silence at the Teachers' Union of Ireland conference today during her address on the new public sector pay deal.

Minister for Education Mary Coughlan told delegates in Ennis today that without economic recovery the Government would be unable to finance public services.

Ms Coughlan said the Government had to take some "difficult and unpopular decisions" in order to deal with the fall in tax revenue and stabilise the public finances.

"While it galls me, just as it does you, to be providing such significant amounts of capital to banks that made irresponsible lending decisions; it is the case that without a stable domestic banking sector providing credit, our economy would not have the capacity to recover," the Taniaste said.

She added: "Without a recovery and the return of Ireland to a path of sustainable economic growth, we would be without the means to finance public services and invest in the maintenance and development of frontline provision, such as education, health and welfare."

The TUI is currently amid discussions over whether to accept the new public sector pay deal hammered out in the Labour Court last week. The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has already rejected the deal during their annual convention in Galway this morning.

Delegates in Galway unanimously voted in favour of a motion calling on the union’s central executive committee to recommend the rejection of the agreement to its members.

The motion was proposed by the union standing committee, which expressed its “total and vehement opposition” to the agreement.

General Secretary of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland John White said it was a "great time of difficulty" for their members and a time when they will be truly tested.

He said teachers and other public servants have had their take-home pay cut by up to 19%, while their terms and conditions of employment are under attack.

Mr White called on Tánaiste and Minister of Education Mary Coughlan to lift the moratorium on teacher recruitment before the education of this generation of pupils was "irretrievably damaged".

However, this morning, Ms Coughlan showed some maneuvering as the Government tries to entice unions to accept the agreement.

Speaking about the ongoing moratorium, the Tanaiste said: "I would therefore like to give some comfort this afternoon to those members in schools where there is an acute problem that I am going to look at how some limited alleviation of the position [on the moratorium] might be applied for the next school year."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

29 October 2008
Education Vote May Depend On Green's Support
There's no let-up to the post Budget pressure on the Government, and while Tánaiste Mary Coughlan said yesterday there will be no changes to the Budget proposals on education, an important headmasters' association has added its voice to calls for rethink.
18 January 2011
Political Donors' Identities Remain Protected
The individuals and companies behind party political donations in the North are to remain 'secret'. The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) said on Monday that the deteriorating security situation meant donors still needed to be protected.
18 January 2013
Woman Ordered To Pay €10,000 Compensation For Biting Garda
Tallaght Court has order a woman, who bit a garda on the forearm, to pay compensation of €10,000. 21-year-old Samantha Malynn pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Ross Foy on September 11, 2011. Garda Sgt Brian Cagney said she was part of a group of young people who were being aggressive and abusive outside the Centra in Springfield.
29 July 2009
Almost Half Of Small Business Have Cut Wages
It has emerged that 45% of all small and medium businesses in Ireland have implemented a pay cut due to the economic downturn. The bi-monthly pay and conditions report from Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (ISME) also says 49% have introduced a pay freeze, resulting in 94% of all their workers suffering from the financial crisis.
18 May 2017
ICTU Invited To Public Service Pay Talks
The Public Services Committee of ICTU have been invited to a discussion on public service pay and a continued approach to the unwinding of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) legislation.