In 2010, the TUI received a request from the Department of Education and Skills (DES) for submissions on the Draft Youthreach Operator Guidelines and, following a consultation with members in Youthreach, forwarded our submission. The published guidelines (of April 2015) show no evidence of consideration by the DES of the Union’s 2010 submission, or indeed of any other submissions that may have been received by the Department in 2010. A ballot of relevant members was held, the result of which provided a mandate to take industrial action. This ballot concluded on the 4th of December, 2015. There was a 70% turnout of our members working in Youthreach Centres with 93% of those members accepting the following ballot proposition:
Do you agree to take industrial action, as directed by the Executive Committee, to prevent any increase in workload, or any imposition of inappropriate work and/or structures, that may be caused by implementation of the Youthreach Operator Guidelines issued to ETBs in April 2015?
An issue has arisen in relation to Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)/Individual Action Plans (IAPs). The following sets out clearly the Union’s position in this regard:
ILPs/IAPs have been implemented, since 2007, in 20 centres that were selected as a pilot to implement such plans. The pilot, co-ordinated by the Special Education Needs Initiative (SENI) assigned specific extra resources to the following centres:
Miltown Malbay Tralee Tuam Galway Kilrush Naas Arklow Mountmellick
Sallynoggin Kells Hospital Bonnybrook Sherrard St Granard New Ross Blanchardstown The Glen Ballyshannon Sligo Limerick
As these listed centres are in receipt of specific extra resourcing for the development and implementation of ILPs/IAPs, the preparation and implementation of such plans may continue unhindered in these centres.
However, it has come to the attention of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) that a number of members in other Youthreach centres (not in receipt of resourcing from the Special Educational Needs Initiative - SENI) have been asked to commence preparation and implementation of ILPs/IAPs as per the published Guidelines. This would constitute the imposition of additional workload and is covered by the mandate afforded by the ballot on the Guidelines.
Therefore, TUI members working in Youthreach Centres are directed:
not to engage in the devising of, or the implementation of, Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)/Individual Action Plans (IAPs) unless the centre in which they work is in receipt of the specific SENI resourcing.
Please bring this to the attention of all members in your centre and ensure every member working in Youthreach receives a copy of the directive.
Please be advised that TUI directives:
• Are intended to protect key conditions
• Are few in number
• Are unilateral rather than agreed
• Have an educational rationale/validity
• Are binding on members of the union
• Remove discretion from members
As such, compliance with this directive is mandatory for all members (regardless of grade) in Youthreach centres, other than the 20 listed.