August 2, 2016 by johnston00
A second-level teacher from Dublin will assume the role of President of the ASTI from this Monday, August 1st.
Ed Byrne – a geography and business studies teacher at Coláiste Choilm, Swords – will begin his term as ASTI President as the union takes on a number of important challenges including achieving equal pay for recently qualified teachers and reversing the worst of the education cuts.
“As ASTI President, one of my main priorities will be to end the discrimination against recently qualified teachers who are placed on inferior pay scales even though they carry out the same work as their colleagues. Recently qualified teachers also face precarious work and low hour contracts. This is after they have spent five to six years preparing to be teachers. It is a completely unacceptable way to treat highly qualified, committed young people entering the profession.”
The incoming President says he hopes that a speedy resolution can be found to the dispute over Junior Cycle reform. “We will work to ensure that the new Junior Cycle protects education standards and recognises every student’s strengths. We have made significant progress, but we cannot settle for a system which is half right.”
Mr Byrne concluded by saying that this is a most challenging time to be a second-level teacher. “Years of cuts have damaged schools and undermined the teaching profession. Cuts in funding and a significant deterioration in teachers’ working conditions have coincided with substantial changes to the second-level education system including a considerable increase in the number of students and the implementation of a number of major policy initiatives. The fact is that the system cannot continue as is. We want a reversal of the worst of the education cuts, increased investment in education and a guarantee of acceptable terms and conditions of employment for all teachers.”
The ASTI is Ireland’s largest second-level teachers’ union and has a membership of 18,000.