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.
A link to a playback of the interview will be uploaded when available.
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. (from around 50.30) Click here to listen back
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 underfunding 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