730 schools will close as talks fail to break impasse - Irish Independent 20/11/14 Click here
TUI President Gerry Quinn interviewed on Junior Cycle talks breakdown - Midlands 103
TUI Assistant General Secretary Declan Glynn outlines why teachers are taking strike action over Junior Cycle on TG4's 7 Lá programme 18/11/14
Parents' group says teacher unions using children as pawns, Irish Times – 17/11/14. -. Click here to read.
Parents' body calls on teachers to drop strike plan in junior cert row, Irish Independent, 17/11/14. Click here to read.
TUI President Gerry Quinn interviewed about Junior Cycle strike on Limerick 95FM - 17/11/14
TUI Vice President Joanne Irwin explains why second level teachers are set to strike over Junior Cycle – Highland Radio, 17/11/14
Listen back to TUI Past President Gerard Craughwell discussing Junior Cycle dispute on Marian Finucane show 16/11/14- in second hour, from 01.04 Click here
Listen back to TUI President debating Junior Cycle issues with Minister on RTE's Saturday With Brian Dowling 15/11/14 Click here
O' Sullivan 'cannot offer more concessions' to teachers' unions - Irish Times 15/11/14 Click here
Teachers want new Junior Cycle offer to halt strike, Irish Independent – 15/11/14. Click here to read.
Teachers to strike amid reform impasse, Irish Examiner, 15/11/14. Click here to read.
Listen back to Gerry Quinn discussing strike over Junior Cycle on RTE's Drivetime 14/11/14 from around 2.30 mins Click here to listen
TUI and ASTI Presidents interviewed on various RTE, Today FM, Newstalk and regional radio stations over the course of the day 14/11/14
TUI President Gerry Quinn and ASTI President Philip Irwin interviewed on RTE and TV3 news bulletins throughout day over Junior Cycle strike, including live interview with Gerry Quinn from Athlone studio 14/11/14
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann discusses Junior Cycle concerns on Newstalk's Breakfast programme - 12/11/14 (begins around 8.50) http://tinyurl.com/lo2kuz7
Gerry Quinn, TUI President discusses ending of talks on Junior Cycle on RTE's Morning Ireland this morning - 12/11/14 http://tinyurl.com/p2eg5n5
Fear of school strikes as union talks break down - Irish Independent 12/11/14 Click here for article
Jan O Sullivan rules out more junior cycle reform concessions - Irish Times 12/11/14 Click here for article
TUI President Gerry Quinn and ASTI President Philip Irwin interviewed on RTE's Nine News over Junior Cycle impasse 11/11/14
TUI President expresses serious concerns over DIT employee engagement survey - Irish Times 10/11/14
(Extract) 'It is somewhat ironic that the first staff heard about the results was through the national media and is completely unacceptable that the response from the institute’s president is that the worrying findings are merely a case of staff “getting things off their chest” rather than being indicative of deeper systemic problems in terms of communication and consultation.' Click here for full letter
Lecturers seek rethink on technological universities plan – Irish Times 30/10/14
TUI says insistence on mergers ‘is more related to rationalisation’ than academic merit (Click here for full article)
More issues than marking exams - Irish Examiner 22/10/14 (Click here for full article)
Letter on Junior Cycle from Presidents of TUI and ASTI – Irish Times 20/10/14 (letter also published in Irish Examiner and Irish Independent and various local newspapers)
(Extract) ‘Our main areas of opposition to Junior Cycle changes relate to the planned removal of national certification and external assessment, both of which provide status and credibility to the assessment process. Such credibility is linked with the high level of public trust in our education system. Indeed, a recent OECD survey placed Ireland first among countries measured for public confidence in their education system.’
‘We are also opposed to the imposition of further pressure on the capacity of schools to provide a quality education service in the wake of several years of austerity cuts, none of which were reversed in this year’s Budget.
More than 1,700 staff to be recruited in education Irish Times 14/10/14
General secretary of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland John MacGabhann said the budget “leaves the public education system treading water, despite the positive spin.”
“We welcome any increase in teacher numbers, yet today’s announcement must be put in its proper context as a measure that only takes account of changing demographics,” he said.
“The school-going population is increasing sharply and more teachers are needed. TUI estimates that 3,700 additional full-time teachers will be required at second level over the next decade just to maintain the current teacher pupil ratio.”
Remember what teachers do for students - joint letter from TUI/ASTI/IFUT/INTO published in Irish Independent and Irish Examiner 6/10/14 Click here
Two thirds of schools cut guidance support 'to keep subject choices' - Irish Examiner 23/9/14 Click here for article
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann was interviewed on RTE’s Prime Time programme on the call from some quarters for the Budget to improve the pupil-teacher ratio in fee paying schools.
‘It is not a function of the state to place more privilege where privilege already exists,’ he said. ‘It is the function of the state to look after those who are most at risk and those who are most vulnerable, and they are legion.’ RTE's Prime Time programme 16/9/14
Click here to view programme - from 44 mins
TUI Deputy General Secretary Annette Dolan interviewed on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme re Section 37.1 of the Employment Equality Act, which can be used to justify discrimination against employees on the grounds of their sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity. She welcomes Minister O’ Ríordáin’s stated commitment to repeal of the section and urges that this repeal happen as a matter of urgency. 10/9/14
TUI reaction to OECD’s Education At A Glance report featured in Irish Examiner and Irish Times 10/9/14
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann interviewed by Matt Cooper on Today FM's Last Word programme on latest OECD Education At A Glance report. Highlights that Irish teachers work longer hours and work with larger class groups that most other OECD countries. Also points out that Irish teachers - if lucky enough to be full-time - earn just 81% of salary that counterparts with similar qualifications in other sectors earn within Ireland. 9/9/14
TUI General Secretary discusses initial meeting with new Minister on Junior Cycle on RTE's Morning Ireland programme. He says unions will insist that any new version of Junior Cycle must be externally assessed and nationally certified.3/9/14
Click here to listen back.
In the The Herald’s Tea Interview with Andrea Smith, TUI President Gerry Quinn outlined the challenges ahead in his new role. Speaking about Junior Cycle, he said that standardisation across the country ‘is very effective for measuring the progress, and the external system of correction that we currently have has public confidence and our confidence. It removes any doubt.’ Speaking about teacher activism, he said that it was important to explain that ‘teachers are frustrated at the way the profession has gone, because there has been a lot of damage done to the education system in the last few years through cuts.’ The Herald 20/8/14
Higher level As down in key subjects as students opt for tougher papers – Irish Times 13/8/14
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland said teachers have shown dedication and innovation in ensuring the continued provision of a first class public education service during cutbacks in education.
Calls to reverse cuts to guidance counselling – Irish Times 13/8/14
TUI President Gerry Quinn also called for the restoration of posts ‘as a matter of urgency’ saying ‘it is clear that the most vulnerable have been targeted by this cut in provision.’ He noted the report also endorsed alternative post-school pathways to higher education, which now was the responsibility of Solas. As the main union representing practitioners of further education, he said it was ‘completely unacceptable’ that TUI was not represented on the board of the training agency that replaced Fás.
Call to reverse cut to guidance counselling – Irish Examiner 13/8/14
TUI president Gerry Quinn said: “Of great concern in this report are the issues raised regarding constraints on time for guidance counselling, particularly for more personalised, one-to-one discussion. This situation has been exacerbated by the cutback to guidance counselling provision in schools which is no longer provided as an addition to teacher allocation. This needs to be reversed as a matter of urgency.”
TUI President Gerry Quinn interviewed on Red FM, Galway Bay FM, Midlands 103, Highland FM and Shannonside about hugely damaging effects of cut to guidance provision 12/8/14
Gerry Quinn discussed the challenges ahead for his term as TUI President with on Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show this morning (1/8/14). Junior Cycle, workload and the plight of young teachers were identified as being key issues. Teachers' fears over the damage the proposed new Junior Cycle could pose to education standards were outlined, and he urged the new Minister to engage meaningfully with unions on the issue. Responding to a listener's text on teacher holidays, Gerry highlighted that the class contact hours of Irish second level teachers exceed the OECD average by 49 hours.
Ministers already facing up to advice and pressure - Irish Examiner 12/7/14
‘It is crucial that the new Minister recognises the need for full and meaningful consultation with the relevant unions in the development of any new education policies or on any matters affecting the terms and conditions of teachers and lecturers,’ said TUI Deputy General Secretary Annette Dolan.
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann interviewed on RTE television news bulletins on resignation of Minister Ruairi Quinn. He acknowledges some of the good work that Minister did but says that union had serious differences of opinion with him on Junior Cycle issues – RTE 3/7/14
TUI President Gerard Craughwell discusses school league tables on RTE's Drivetime programme, describing them as a crude and misleading measure of a school. He also highlights the value of PLC courses. 26/6/14
Staff-student ratios ‘considerably out of line’ with international norms - Irish Times
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland also warned of “the damaging effects that cutbacks are having on the quality of experience for students”. The union’s deputy general secretary, Annette Dolan, said institute of technology lecturers taught 18-20 hours per week in contrast with the international norm of 10-12.For each hour of teaching, a multiple was spent in preparation, evaluation and other academic responsibilities, she said."
Annette Dolan interviewed on TV3 News about third level about ‘chronic underfunding’ of Institutes of Technology 11/6/14
Underperforming courses to lose funds in further education shake-up - Irish Times 13/5/14
(Extract) The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) criticised the strategy for being “utilitarian and narrow” and expressed concern that “the needs of industry and commerce will over-power the second-chance education needs of individuals”.
Assistant General Secretary Declan Glynn said the union was also “very gravely” concerned that future further education provision “will be allocated to private organisations established to provide profit for their owners, and for whom the holistic education needs of learners is a distant, lesser priority to ‘the bottom line’."
TUI Assistant General Secretary Declan Glynn responds to launch of Further Education and Training Strategy on RTE's Six One News 12/5/14
Annual Congress 2014
The union’s Annual Congress received extensive media coverage in the days before and during the event.
Press statements in advance on health and safety concerns, the need for 4,000 additional teachers in the next decade, poor PLC course provision in many counties and a survey of lecturers on the move towards Technological Universities were well covered in the national media.
Daithi Sims, Bernie Ruane, Claire Markey and John MacGabhann discussed the concerns of teachers and lecturers across the sectors on RTE’s Today With Sean O’ Rourke on the morning of March 22nd.
An opinion editorial by the TUI President in the Irish Times on the same day highlighted the plight of teachers suffering from the hugely damaging effects of casualisation. RTE’s Drivetime was broadcast live from the hotel lobby the following day, with Gerard Craughwell interviewed following his response to Minister Quinn’s address.
TUI representatives were interviewed on a range of RTE, Today FM, Newstalk and regional radio programmes and news bulletins. RTE, TV3 and TG4 television news reported from Kilkenny and Congress also received extensive print coverage throughout the week, including the lead story in the Irish Times on Thursday March 24th (Teachers ‘horrified’ at Quinn’s lack of consultation).
No resolution in sight as teachers step up action – Irish Independent 8/4/14 (Click here)
(Extract) Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) general secretary John MacGabhann responded: "We need state certification and external assessment.
"We believe state certification is necessary to maintain consistent standards; we believe children and parents deserve no less."
He said that unless there was a significant change in approach by the minister, the issue would not easily be resolved.
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann says it would be 'preposterous' for teachers as educators not to express their serious concerns about elements of Junior Cycle change - Newstalk's Breakfast programme (from around 10.00). 7/4/14 (Click here)
On the day that the latest OECD PISA results ranked Irish students at an average level after an online problem solving exercise, TUI emphasised that Irish schools require a vastly improved ICT infrastructure. TUI’s position was covered in the Irish Times, Irish Examiner and Irish Independent and TUI President was interviewed on Newstalk’s Lunchtime programme and RTE’s Drivetime. 1/4/14
Click here to listen to the 1st April Drivetime interview (from 52.00)
The result of TUI’s ballot of members on Junior Cycle industrial action received extensive media coverage on March 26th and 27th across all print and broadcast outlets.
Click here to listen to an interview with TUI President Gerard Craughwell on 26th March's RTE Drivetime programme (from 1.58.18) .
Letter from TUI President published in Irish Examiner responding to article on Junior Cycle proposals. 'Creativity should complement rather than substitute for fully funded system.' 18/3/14
The TUI/ASTI lunchtime protest over Junior Cycle concerns outside schools around the country received extensive media coverage across national and regional media. Dual union Newpark Comprehensive School was used as a flagship for the Dublin protest and this was extremely well attended by media. Wherever possible, regional media were also furnished with details of local events and template press statements were issued to branches from head office.
The TUI President was interviewed live on RTE Radio 1's News at One, while both RTE and TV3 covered the event on their news bulletins. TUI representatives were interviewed on a range of radio news bulletins each day, while Assistant General Secretary Declan Glynn debated the issues with Minister Quinn on Today FM's Last Word programme. All national newspapers gave the event extensive coverage. 11/3/14
TUI President Gerard Craughwell debates Junior Cycle changes with Minister Ruairi Quinn on Today With Sean O' Rourke (presented by Keelin Shanley) 10/3/14 Click here to listen
What's wrong with the Junior Cycle proposals - TUI President writes in Galway Independent 26/2/14
Teacher pressure – Chalk Talk, Irish Times 25/2/14
(extract) The latest figures show almost 30 per cent of the TUI’s second level members are on part-time or casual contracts of less than full hours, and the union estimates that this percentage is much higher among teachers under 35.
The TUI is seeking sustainable teaching career paths, and general secretary John MacGabhann comments: “It was once the case that second level teachers were appointed to permanent, full-time jobs, but regrettably it has become the recent norm for young teachers to spend many years on low hours and low incomes with no guarantee of being retained from year to year. Having only fragments of jobs, many experience income poverty and regularly struggle to meet basic financial commitments.”….
TUI Education and Research Officer Bernie Judge discusses planned protest over Junior Cycle changes and teacher concerns over the new programme RTE's Morning Ireland, 24/2/14 Click here to listen
TUI advocates that with regard to education related to sensitive issues such as relationships and sexuality, students should be provided with neutral, non-biased and accurate information and guidance. TUI Education & Research Officer Bernie Judge interviewed on RTE Radio’s Drivetime programme 18/2/14 Click here to listen (from around 2.17)
Principals warn over secondary teacher shortage – Irish Daily Mail 17/2/14
Principals have expressed concern that a 15 per cent increase in secondary level student population by 2020 will lead to a shortage of teachers. The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals has called on the Department of Education to implement plans to meet the challenge of an expected 10,000 extra secondary students by 2020…..A spokesman for the Teachers’ Union of Ireland said the TUI brought out figures last week showing that 30 per cent of secondary school teachers were on less than full-time hours. The coming surge in student numbers should ensure teaching can become a job of full hours again which should provide a ‘huge opportunity to graduates.’
Teachers to vote on strike action over Junior Cert - Irish Independent 15/2/14 Click here
Teachers to be balloted for action over junior cycle reforms - Irish Examiner 15/2/14 Click here (Also covered in Irish Daily Mail and Irish Daily Star)
Teachers to vote on Junior Cycle plan in March - RTE 15/2/14
TUI Education and Research Officer Bernie Judge discusses the challenges schools and teachers face in providing sex education, including the effect of cutbacks and loss of posts – Today FM’s Last Word programme 4/2/14
TUI calls for the scrappage of a tax break that resulted in eight of Ireland's most affluent schools receiving an average of almost €50,000 in additional funding each from the State in 2012. Speaking on RTE News, TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann said that TUI’s ‘issue is with the State conferring further advantage on the school that receives those donations through the tax code, so this is an issue that has to do with advantage being conferred on advantage. ‘ 3/2/14 Click here to view video
TUI President Gerard Craughwell discusses disciplinary hearings for teachers on KFM's Kildare Today programme 28/1/14 and on Cork Today on C103FM 29/1/14
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann discusses possiblity of public disciplinary hearings for teachers - Minister and Department must fully consult with TUI - Today FM's Last Word programme 27/1/14
Holding schools and teachers to account - Irish Times letter by TUI President 27/1/14
'It is important to emphasise that teachers are already subject to multiple levels of accountability...' Click here for full text
Two out of three unions back public hearings for teachers - Irish Independent 27/1/14
(extract) John MacGabhann, general secretary of the TUI, said that his body wanted discussion on the matter with the minister and the Teaching Council about its concerns.
"We want a highly competent, well-respected teaching profession. In the few cases, where people are not fit for the profession, for whatever reason, either for reasons of serious incompetence or for reasons of serious misconduct, what we want is a system that deals with such cases, but that in dealing with them also provides fair and due process." Click here for full article
Hearings for teachers not up to the job - Sunday Times front page 26/1/14
...The Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) has reacted with alarm to the proposal, and wants 'serious consultation' with Quinn before the plan is finalised in legislation...John MacGabhann, general secretary of the TUI said it would be 'extremely unfair' if teachers were brought before a public hearing except in serious cases. 'We want this proposal to be the subject of serious discussions between teachers, the Teaching Council and Minister Quinn,' he said.
Unions insist on external assessment of Junior Cycle - Irish Examiner 25/1/14 Click here
Teachers to ballot for strike action over Junior Cert - Irish Independent 25/1/14 Click here
TUI confirms ballot over Junior Cycle reforms - RTE 24/1/14 Click here
Teacher unions and Department on collision course over Junior Cert changes - Irish Times 21/1/14 Click here
Fresh blow to Quinn's reform plans - Irish Independent 21/1/14 Click here
Schools may lack capacity to assess students, Quinn told - Irish Examiner 21/1/14 Click here
Learning a lesson on curriculum reform - Irish Examiner 21/1/14 Click here
Gerard Craughwell interviewed on RTE's One News - warns that TUI will not engage with Junior Cycle changes if they are rushed through 20/1/14
TUI President Gerard Craughwell interviewed on RTE’s Morning Ireland on ballot of TUI members on Junior Cycle reform 20/1/14 Click here
Second level unions to ballot teachers on Junior Cert reforms – Irish Times 19/1/14 Click here
Teachers to vote on Junior Cycle co-operation - Irish Examiner 18/1/14 Click here
(Extract) TUI general secretary John MacGabhann said: “With less than nine months left before implementation is scheduled to commence, today was set as a deadline for the Department of Education and Skills to provide concrete information that could be objectively considered by the unions. Regrettably, key questions on standards, capacity and equity which we have repeatedly posed were not satisfactorily answered and the level of detail required on a number of crucial matters was not provided.”
The TUI has already confirmed that it will be balloting for non-cooperation with the implementation of the proposed changes. The ASTI will meet in the coming days to decide if it will carry out a ballot.
Teachers reject latest offer on Junior Cert reforms - Irish Times 18/1/14 Click here
Teacher unions warn of ballot on exam reforms – Irish Independent 18/1/14 Click here
RTE News coverage of TUI and ASTI disappointment with Junior Cycle working group outcome and TUI’s decision to ballot members on non-cooperation. Click here for news item and video – 17/1/14
TUI general secretary John MacGabhann discusses Junior Cycle change concerns on RTE's Morning Ireland http://tinyurl.com/pouph9a 16/1/14
TUI position on Junior Cycle set out in following newspaper articles:
Unions wary of Junior Cert reform plan – Irish Times 16/1/14
Quinn’s ‘holistic’ Junior Cycle leads to teachers’ threat – Irish Daily Mail 16/1/14
Teachers threat on Junior Cert plans – The Herald 16/1/14
Pupils starting second level in 2014 will sit Junior Cycle Student Award 16/1/14
TUI President Gerard Craughwell interviewed on RTE News television bulletin regarding concerns over system readiness for Junior Cycle change 15/1/14
Gerard Craughwell interviewed on TV3 News and on Today FM’s Last Word and Newstalk’s Right Hook programmes regarding potential ballot of members on Junior Cycle 15/1/14
Doubts over TUI's role in Junior Cycle reforms - Irish Examiner 9/1/14
There is still uncertainty over whether teachers at almost 400 second-level schools will take part in junior cycle reforms as their union awaits assurances on issues of concern from the Department of Education.The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) set a deadline three weeks ago for Education Minister Ruairi Quinn’s officials to address concerns about the changes by the end of next week..... click here for full article
Here is your homework for tonight -- watch School of Rock – Irish Independent 8/1/14
(Extract) Teachers have mixed feelings about the Junior Cycle innovations.
"There are a lot of good things in the new Junior Cycle programme and we hope it will help to engage students," says Bernie Judge, education and research officer at the Teachers' Union of Ireland." However we also have a lot of reservations about its implementation."
The most common complaint is about the assessment system that will be used. Until now, students have largely been assessed using state exams, but now the focus will switch to school-based moderation.
Judge says: "Many teachers are reluctant to assess their own students, and there are fears that there will be variations in standards between schools."
With the majority of students staying on for the Leaving Cert, the Junior Cycle exams are not as important a qualification as they once were, and they are often described as "low-stakes exams".
However, Judge explains: "The assessment still needs to be credible. You have to recognise that 15pc of students still leave after the Junior Cycle.
"It also has to be reliable, because students have to make decisions about subject choices in the Leaving Cert."
……Judge adds that there is some concern that smaller schools may lose out, because they will be unable to provide the widest possible variety of courses.
TUI warns that under amended legislation to increase powers available to Teaching Council, any new measures must give due process to teachers. Also highlighted that robust system to deal with incompetence or professional misconduct at local level has been long available under Education Act. TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann interviewed on Newstalk's Breakfast Show, Today FM, Tipp FM, 98FM, SE Radio, WLR FM and East Coast Radio 3/1/14
TUI Education & Research Officer Bernie Judge discusses TUI's position on Junior Cycle reform on Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show 19/12/13
Listen back - from around 5.50 onwards
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann discusses potential action over Junior Cycle changes with presenter Clem Ryan on Kildare FM's Kildare Today programme 19/12/13
TUI warns of potential action over Junior Cert reform - RTE 18/12/13 Click here for article
TUI position on Junior Cycle reported on and representatives interviewed on various media including RTE Radio 1, TV3, 2FM, FM104, Cork96FM, RedFM, FM104, Q102, Today FM, UTV Radio Network. 18/12/13
Irish Times report on TUI deadline over Junior Cycle reform details - Irish Times 18/12/13
The department is also under pressure after the TUI threatened to ballot members. The union had “repeatedly sought concrete practical details” of the proposed Junior Cert reform but the department had not provided this, TUI president Gerard Craughwell said yesterday. “The department has scheduled a meeting of the Working Group on Junior Cycle for 17th January 2014,” he said. “If the department has still not addressed our concerns after the meeting of this working group, TUI will without delay ballot members to secure agreement not to co-operate with the implementation of the proposed Junior Cycle programme.” Click here for full article
TUI warns of resistance to Junior Certificate reforms - Irish Examiner 18/12/13
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has warned Education Minister Ruairi Quinn its members could refuse to co-operate with the replacement of the Junior Certificate if he does not give a commitment for the necessary supports and funding in the next month........Click here for full article
TUI to ballot on Junior Cycle disruption if conerns are not addressed - www.thejournal.ie 18/12/13 Click here for article
Letter from TUI President Gerard Craughwell in Irish Times 13/12/13
'The system's capacity for change has been largely removed by austerity cuts and schools are considerably less well equipped now than five years ago to deal with new initiatives including the proposed reform of the Junior Cycle.' Click here for full letter
Third level students need more high-end skills 13/12/13
...The Teachers’ Union of Ireland warned this week that lecturers have less time to give academic support because of rising workload due to 8% fewer staff and 15% more students in five years.
TUI figures on fall in lecturer numbers, increase in student numbers – Irish Examiner 13/12/13
Meanwhile, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland has said lecturers at institutes of technology have less time to provide academic support because of an 8% cut in their numbers in the past five years, while student numbers have gone up by 17%.
General secretary John MacGabhann said having 385 fewer lecturers to teach 11,400 more students means lectures are often overcrowded and the issues will particularly impact on college completion rates.
“While increase student participation at third-level is always a positive, we are concerned by the severe effects that cutbacks are having on the quality of educational experience for students,” he said.
Lecturers are thinning out – Irish Mirror 13/12/13
THE number of lecturers in Irish colleges is dropping – despite a surge in student numbers. Figures from the Teachers’ Union of Ireland revealed there were 385 fewer lecturers and a surge of 11,400 in student numbers at institutes of technology. Spokesman for the TUI, John MacGabhann, said the body was “concerned by the severe effects cutbacks are having on students’ educational experience.” He added: “Class sizes have increased and lectures are often overcrowded.
TUI President Gerard Craughwell interviewed on Newstalk and Galway Bay FM radio news bulletins on fall in Institute lecturer numbers 12/12/13
Student numbers rise while lecturer numbers fall in Institutes of Technology – Newstalk 12/12/13
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland says there's been a significant drop in the number of lecturers in the Institutes of Technology sector, despite a rise in the number of students attending the third level institutes in Ireland…… click for link to full story and interview clip with Gerard Craughwell
What should parents know about schools? – Irish Times 11/12/13
Once again, the response to ‘The Irish Times’ 2013 School League Tables was enormous, with the topic dominating the airwaves and letters’ pages, as well as being a hot-button issue on social media……The Teachers’ Union of Ireland said that “If third-level access rates were the only indicator of the success or otherwise of a school, the true meaning of education would be severely distorted.”
Irish students doing better in science, study reveals – Irish Times 4/12/13
‘The Teachers’ Union of Ireland believed the scores represented signification achievements in spite of the austerity agenda, said general secretary John MacGabhann.’
Reaction to Ireland’s PISA 2012 results – Irish Examiner 4/12/13
‘The scores represent significant achievements by students and teachers and are a tribute to their resilience at a time when the austerity agenda has sidelined the irrefutable, clear case for progressive and appropriate investment in education.’
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann describes PISA study results as endorsing the excellent work being done in schools by teachers on RTE televisions Six and Nine news bulletins. 3/12/13
Click here to view.
Change One Thing: TUI president Gerard Craughwell says the timeframe for Junior Cert reform should be changed - Irish Times Opinion Editorial 3/12/13
"Teachers, including principal and deputy principal teachers, have never been more stretched, with workloads already dramatically increased as a consequence of larger class groups, reduced staffing and a plethora of new bureaucratic demands and initiatives. Furthermore, the capacity of schools to raise any private funds has diminished significantly." Click here for full article
TUI President Gerard Craughwell interviewed by Daily Telegraph for profile on Irish 3/12/12
"I think the Irish education system is pretty good at what it does. But of course we've suffered draconian cuts since 2008, with a reduction in salaries by about 13 per cent since then. And it's hard to attract people to the profession – there is no such thing as a permanent job any more.”
"One of the things that worries us, looking at our British friends, is the amount of paperwork and administration they have to do. We hear all the stories and are worried that the same is going to come over here – where as we still place great emphasis on the pastoral care within schools, and time spent with pupils. That can only be a good thing.”
"If there is anything that Britain can learn from the Irish system, it's to fight back against ticking boxes.”
TUI Deputy General Secretary Annette Dolan welcomes the building of new school in Carrick-on-Suir, but highlights damage of cutbacks and warns that education system must also be properly resourced with appropriate numbers of teachers – Tipp Today programme, Tipp FM 2/12/13
John MacGabhann outlines that school league tables do not show the reality of a school's work -'Tables completely omit those students who do not progress to third level...there is a huge variety of entirely valid reasons why many students will not progress.' TV3 News 26/11/13
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann says that Feeder School lists do not fairly represent the true work of schools and the achievements of all students – RTE’s Morning Ireland 26/11/13
Click here to listen
Unions still unhappy at planned Junior Cert reform – Irish Times 26/11/13
Union dissatisfaction remains over the planned reform of the Junior Cert following a fresh round of meetings between union representatives and officials from the Department of Education and Skills.
The Teachers Union of Ireland and the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland held separate meetings yesterday, with both emerging afterwards to express their dissatisfaction.
This was the TUI’s third bilateral meeting on the issues involved in Junior Cycle reform. It focused on its concerns over the credibility and integrity of school-based assessments. These would be a requirement under proposals put by the department.
Its general secretary John MacGabhann challenged what it called “the false assumption that such significant and far-reaching reform can be implemented in circumstances where schools are denied the teaching and time resources that would be absolutely necessary”.
TUI concerns over Junior Cert also set out in following articles:
Teachers warn of concerns about Junior Cert reforms - Irish Daily Mail 26/11/13
Cuts make new junior cycle plan 'impossible' - Irish Daily Star
TUI regional media campaign on damage done to Institute of Technology sector by cutbacks - October/November 2013
In recent weeks, TUI has engaged in a regional media campaign to highlight the damage done to the Institute of Technology sector by cutbacks. The union has outlined the net loss of lecturers, the net increase in student numbers and cut in funding for each institute. An overview of the coverage to date is available from this link.
Fee paying pupils more likely to attend college – Irish Independent 26/11/13
As the table is published, a teachers' union has warned that such lists are hugely damaging to the inclusive school that admits all the children of the community.
The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) said inclusive schools were unfairly represented by so narrow a focus on third-level progression. TUI general secretary John MacGabhann said the lists promoted a view that a school's success was solely dependent on students achieving entry to third-level courses that required high points.
"We believe that a school's mission is more expansive, inclusive and generous than such a narrow vision suggests," he said.
Mr MacGabhann said each individual student was unique and each had an individual set of talents. For many, completion of the Leaving Certificate itself was a major achievement.
"They may, for example, be the first generation of their family to do so. Others may have special educational needs and more again may be relative newcomers to Ireland with a first language other than English.
"The struggles and hugely impressive personal achievements of such students cannot be translated into cold, tabulated data," he said. Mr MacGabhann noted that the lists did not provide information on whether individual schools offered programmes such as the Leaving Certificate Applied or Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme. Nor did they provide information on students who had successfully progressed to apprenticeships, or to further education, such as Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, he said.
"If third level access rates were the only indicator of the success or otherwise of a school, the true meaning of education would be severely distorted. "The publication of these lists inevitably leads to unfair comparison that is hugely damaging," he said.
RTE's Education Correspondent Emma O' Kelly states on RTE News at One that talks have taken place between TUI and Department of Education and Skills officials 25/11/13
Strikes to cause 'Christmas of discontent' - Irish Independent 25/11/13
Separately, Department of Education officials are meeting today with representatives of the ASTI and the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI), to explore how concerns about changes to the Junior Cycle can be addressed.
The talks may give pointers to what teachers can expect from a Working Group on Junior Cert reform that is being set up.
TUI President Gerard Craughwell outlines TUI’s concerns with Junior Cert reform in Irish Independent opinion editorial 20/11/13
‘Reform should provide certainty and confidence for the future. It should improve upon the status quo for all and not risk diminishing quality. Regrettably, the Junior Cycle proposals pose more questions than they answer. It is, we believe, a case of too much, too soon.’
Click link to read full article:
Teachers get backdated pay incentive - Irish Times 14/11/13
The proposal on opting out of supervision and substitution duties will also apply to members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland, whose members accepted Haddington Road and were working the agreement since mid-October. It said it had also been pressing for such changes.
The TUI also indicated that its members would not work any more of the additional hours required under the agreement than those to be worked by members of the ASTI if they accepted the deal at this stage.
The union told members: “Issues that arise for the TUI in the event of acceptance by the ASTI of the Haddington Road agreement concern an equalisation of delivery. The position must be that, if the ASTI accepts the agreement, TUI members in a given school will do the same number of hours under the 33-hour commitment as their ASTI colleagues over the course of the 2013/14 school year.”
The Department of Education said: “Issues regarding the details will be worked out between the parties involved in due course.”
RTE’s Industrial and Employment correspondent Ingrid Miley states that TUI has welcomed the clarifications provided to the union today on the implementation of the Haddington Road Agreement by the Department of Education and Skills and states that the union had sought the clarifications for a number of weeks – RTE’s Six One and Nine news bulletins 12/11/13
Quinn goes to top of class for move to cut uniform bill - The Herald 12/11/13
Teachers' Union of Ireland President Gerard Craughwell insisted any uniform should be reasonably priced and locally available, and the price should not soar with the addition of the school crest. He added: 'We welcome any move to engage in consultation with parents on the issue of school uniforms. This is a matter for each individual school community, and clearly parents are part of this community.'
Parents to be balloted on school uniforms – Irish Times 12/11/13
Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) president Gerard Craughwell said it welcomed any move to consult parents on school uniforms. This is a matter for each individual school community, and clearly parents are part of this community. It is TUI’s position that any uniform should be reasonably priced and locally available and the cost should not soar with the addition of the school crest,’ he said.
Plan to ease burden on households welcome – Irish Independent 12/11/13
Teachers’ Union of Ireland president Gerard Craughwell welcomed any move to engage in consultation with parents on the issue. ‘It is TUI’s position that any uniform should be reasonably priced and locally available and the cost should not soar with the addition of the school crest,’ he said.
School uniform vote for parents – The Star 12/11/13
Teachers’ Union of Ireland President Gerard Craughwell said his union welcomed any move to engage in consultation with parents on the issue of school uniforms. ‘This is a matter for each individual school community, and clearly parents are part of this community. It is TUI’s position that any uniform should be reasonably priced and locally available and the cost should not soar with the addition of the school crest,’ he said.
Low marks for Irish and maths teaching in inspector's report - Evening Herald 5/11/13
Teachers unions reacted positively to the report – the TUI said that it endorsed the "high quality of teachers and teaching in Ireland, with 87pc of parents at second-level happy with the teaching standards in schools".
But the TUI said that there were major challenges for schools and teachers with growing student numbers and the increase in pupil-teacher ratios.
RTE's Primetime programme discusses Junior Cycle reform. TUI Education & Research Officer Bernie Judge outlines some of TUI's concerns over resources, equity and assment model - RTE 1 Monday 29/10/13 Click here to watch video
Teachers' union 'deeply concerned' by Junior Cert reforms - Irish Times 29/10/13
TUI teachers warn over new Junior Cert syllabus - RTE 29/10/13
Bernie Judge also interviewed on Newstalk bulletins 29/10/13
TUI Education and Research Officer Bernie Judge outlines TUI's concerns with Junior Certificate revamp Morning Ireland, RTE Radio 1, 29/10/13 Click here to listen
Way opens for talks on secondary teachers’ dispute – Irish Times 19/10/13
In relation to provisions of Haddington Road, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland has said its members are being professionally demeaned by the way that schools’ management is using the 33 additional hours agreed to as part of the agreement.
There was growing frustration and professional slight “at the bureaucratic and coerced nature of the usage of the hours”, said the TUI’s president Gerard Craughwell. In too many cases the way in which the hours are being used were regarded as “professionally demeaning” he said.
There was more an obsession ticking off these blocks of time than using them in support of education within the school.
Talks possible between Quinn and secondary school teachers – Irish Examiner 19/10/13
TUI president Gerard Craughwell said there is growing frustration that the hours could be used to the greater benefit of students instead of being assigned to bureaucratic work. He said both second-level unions were at pains to impress this on the department in talks that led to the HRA last May.
Trainees and apprentices will lose allowances or face charges – Irish Examiner 16/10/13
‘From next year, the department will no longer pay the contribution charge to colleges for Fás apprentices for the two 10-week periods they spend in Institutes of Technologies. The measure means two €540 payments due by around 10,000 apprentices during their four years of training, bringing an annual saving of €1.6m for the department. It was described by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland as a swingeing attack on student participation, upskilling and re-skilling.’
Students suffer – Irish Mirror 16/10/13
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann said: ‘Last year’s Budget reduced the funding allocation to third level colleges by €25m with the understanding that it was to be restored in this Budget. The draconian decision not to restore this for another year is damaging in the extreme.’
Schools are at breaking point – The Star 16/10/13
The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI)hit out at a new measure which will force apprentices attending Institutes of Technology to pay a student contribution of €540, which was previously paid by the State. General Secretary John MacGabhann described it as "a swingeing attack on student participation, upskilling and reskilling. This will only add to existing logjams in the apprenticeship area," he said.
TUI members to be asked to identify themselves to get increments - Irish Times 10/10/13
TUI says it cannot provide Department of Education with list of its members - Irish Times 9/10/13
Literacy and numeracy among Irish average or below, according to survey - Irish Times 9/10/13
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) warned that the State could fall further behind if education programmes were cut, while the National Adult Literacy Agency said the study provided evidence that mainstream education was insufficient to develop these skills for life.