TUI in the Media




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)

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