News Vol.43 / no.4 March/april 2021 - Teachers' Union of Ireland

News Vol.43 / no.4 March/april 2021 - Teachers' Union of Ireland
new s
teachers’ union of ireland / AONTAS MÚINTEOIRÍ ÉIREANN

                                                             Vol.4 3 / no.4
                                                         Ma rc h /a p ri l 2 0 2 1
News Vol.43 / no.4 March/april 2021 - Teachers' Union of Ireland
A Word from the
     tui neWs

    p.2 A Word From The President                    President – Martin Marjoram
    p.4 Phased reopening of workplaces
    p.5 State Examinations 2021 – an update
    p.6 MTU ballot results                       Dear Members,                                       Phased return to
                                                                                                     school/liMited increase
    p.6 Don’t miss out on TUI’s accredited       While TUI’s opposition to a rushed
         course in Trade Union Studies                                                               in onsite actiVities in
                                                 return to in-person education in January            further and higher
    p.7 New mental health and wellbeing          played an important role in preventing an           education
         resource for schools                    unwise policy decision, and has been                Though months of further restrictions
    p.8 Education International steps up         amply vindicated since, the necessity for           are before us while the vaccines are
         climate action in 2021                  emergency remote teaching over such                 administered, public health advice
    p.9 ICTU marks International Women’s         an extended period required enormous                favours a cautious, phased re-opening of
         Day                                     work and commitment from you, which                 schools and a limited increase in onsite
    p.10 TUI in the media                        TUI has referenced consistently in                  activities in further and higher education.
    p.14 Report on resolutions of Annual         negotiations and in the media. Thankfully,          Indeed, the more stringent limitations
         Congress, 26th June 2020                the state’s vaccination programme, for all          imposed in other societal settings are
    p.19 Report on resolutions of Special        its delays and difficulties, promises an            identified as necessary in controlling
         Congress, 7th November 2020             end at last to the severe impacts of the            community infection levels sufficiently to
    p.31 Your voice matters                      pandemic. In the meantime, TUI has                  allow education and other essential
    p.32 Update to the Teacher Fee Refund        been, and will be, working to protect               services to proceed, with appropriate
         Scheme                                  members from additional workload and                mitigation measures in place.
    p.33 Important notice for PRSI Class A       in terms of health and safety.                      In order to improve confidence, and to
         contributors                                                                                take advantage of the flexibility arising
    p.35 RMA News                                                                                    from only a fraction of staff having to
    p.36 Crossword                                                                                   attend in person, TUI has negotiated that

     Annual Congress - 6th/7th April 2021
    Due to ongoing restrictions as a result of the national            Congress will be addressed by both Minister for
    health emergency, the TUI’s Annual Congress will take              Education, Norma Foley TD and Minister for Further and
    place remotely on 6th and 7th April 2021.                          Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science,
    Keep an eye on the Union’s communications channels                 Simon Harris TD.
    for updates and full details on the schedule and format            In 2020,TUI’s Annual Congress took place online on
    of the event.                                                      26th June 2020, with a Special Congress taking place on
                                                                       7th November 2020. A full report on resolutions passed at
                                                                       both events are featured in this magazine.

    EDITORIAL                       Annette Dolan                      John MacGabhann                         PRODUCTION
                                    Deputy General Secretary           Assistant General Secretary
    Martin Marjoram                                         TUI News is published by the
    President                                                                                                  Teachers’ Union of Ireland.                Declan Glynn                       Seamus Lahart
                                                                       Assistant General Secretary             Aontas Múinteoirí Éireann,
                                    Assistant General Secretary
    Liz Farrell                                                 73 Orwell Road, Rathgar,
    Vice President                                                                                             Dublin 6, D06 YP89.        Aidan Kenny                        Anne Howard
                                    Assistant General Secretary        Assistant General Secretary
    Michael Gillespie                                           T: 01 - 492 2588 F: 01 - 492 2953
    General Secretary                                                                                          E:    W:               Colm Kelly                         David Duffy
                                    Assistant General Secretary        Education & Research Officer
                                                                                        Printed by:
                                                                                                               Typecraft Ltd.
                                                                       Patricia Keating
                                    Joanne Irwin
                                                                       Administrative Officer
                                    Assistant General Secretary
                                                                       Conor Griffin
                                    John O’Reilly
                                                                       Press & Information Officer
                                    Assistant General Secretary

2   March/april 2021 - TUI NEWS
News Vol.43 / no.4 March/april 2021 - Teachers' Union of Ireland
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pregnant members, members who are 60          Building MoMentuM – a
years old or older, and members who are       neW PuBlic serVice
in the high-risk health category may          agreeMent 2021-2022
continue to work remotely if they so          On 23rd February, the Public Services
choose until there is a full return to in-    Committee of the ICTU gave its
person attendance in their sector.            overwhelming backing to Building
Changes to leave arrangements have also       Momentum, the new public service
been secured, giving members greater          agreement. The TUI Executive had already
facility to deal with childcare and other     made clear its opposition to the proposal
caring responsibilities.                      because it fails to address the scandal of
                                              pay discrimination. The agreement’s new
Intensive work by TUI on negotiation and      Sectoral Bargaining mechanism, whereby
documentation has resulted in                 unions divert a long-awaited potential pay
agreements and guidance across the            rise into funding their own claims and
various sectors and workplaces in which       adjudications, is not a just system and
TUI organises. Locally and nationally the     could lead to significant divergence
union must be vigilant that onsite            between public servants if continued into
activities take place in accordance with      future agreements. However, it does
those outcomes. Strict adherence to all       provide a means to further address pay
necessary public health requirements          inequality so TUI will participate and will
remains essential. The union will not         work within the terms of the agreement
tolerate any failure by management to         to secure the scheduled pay increases           TUI PRESIDENT, MARTIN MARJORAM
implement what is required.                   and the best outcomes for members.
                                              The closure of our workplaces and the
                                              inadequacy of our database prevented us       negotiation teams in all consortiums,
state exaMinations                                                                          while members in IADT Dun Laoghaire
The further loss of face-to-face teaching     from balloting as intended. As soon as
                                              practicable, we will ballot members. In       and Dundalk IT face the uncertainty of
in January and February resulted in a                                                       not having a clear place in the process at
                                              this regard, I must remind you of the
clamour against “forcing” students to sit                                                   all. The Dundalk IT Branch must be
                                              need to update your membership details
the Leaving Certificate examinations.                                                       commended for its outstanding display of
                                              if you have not done so. Please take the
While sharing the concerns for students
                                              opportunity by clicking the link here         solidarity with management grade
expressed by many, TUI did not favour                                                       members in the ongoing dispute
                                              and note that the “Union Reference” field
the Government’s decision to offer                                                          regarding the operations of its senior
                                              is not a required field if you do not have
students the choice of SEC accredited         your TUI number to hand.                      leadership team.
grades instead of, or in combination with,
the conventional Leaving Certificate. The                                                   annual congress
disastrous spike in COVID-19 cases in         industrial relations
                                              Processes and                                 Another, regrettably remote, Annual
January gave clear justification for a                                                      Congress is almost upon us. I look
contingency to be put in place against a      negotiations
                                              The WRC Conciliation process regarding        forward to the debate and the policy
similar occurrence in June. However, with                                                   discussion and formulation at the heart of
public health advice continuing to indicate   the claim for a conversion process in
                                              Youthreach commenced on 5th March.            this key event in our democratic calendar.
that the written examinations and almost                                                    I will impress upon both Ministers (for
all additional assessment components can      The confidentiality of the process
                                              prevents any detailed report. The next        Education and for Further and Higher
take place, the decision to offer choice                                                    Education) your remarkable work and
must be viewed as a political response by     meeting is scheduled for 20th May.
                                                                                            dedication to your students through this
both Government and opposition as             Other long-standing claims, including for     unprecedented crisis and the need to
opposed to sound educational or public        the restoration of the H.Dip./PME             learn that the long-standing policy of
health policy.                                allowance and regarding incremental           operating education at crisis funding
TUI negotiated tirelessly on behalf of        credit in Third Level, continue their         levels is not a virtue and left us singularly
members, and of the integrity of the          frustratingly slow progress through the       ill-prepared when struck by COVID-19.
assessment process, and will continue to      state’s industrial relations machinery and    That the system withstood that impact as
insist on protections for members against     we will update members when we have           well as it did is a further testament to
workload impositions and undue                news.                                         your extraordinary endeavours, but it is
influence or interference in their            Work by TUI members and officials             surely time to build and fund education
estimation of students’ marks. TUI’s clear    continues regarding the Technological         on a sustainable basis.
guidance with regard to both Leaving          University process. It is unacceptable that   Looking forward to seeing many of you at
Certificate and Junior Cycle will continue    the Branches in the newly formed              Congress, and with every good wish for
to be updated and we will continue to         Munster Technological University have         your and your family’s health,
negotiate improvements and clarifications     encountered such difficulty simply to
with the Department.                          ensure that management upholds what is
                                              already agreed. Challenges face our
                                                                                                - TUI NEWS              3
News Vol.43 / no.4 March/april 2021 - Teachers' Union of Ireland
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    Phased re-opening of workplaces –
    ongoing review of public health situation
    will be required
    Note – as these are                            additional suPPorts and                       phased reopening. This is not a return to
                                                   safeguards                                    tuition, rather it is a return to facilitate
    developing issues, keep an                     As a result of TUI’s representations, a       instruction on specialist equipment
    eye on the TUI website and                     range of additional supports and              required for the completion of time-
                                                   measures have been agreed to protect          critical practical elements and the
    social media channels for                      students and staff. These measures            completion of such time-critical practical
                                                   include a restoration and enhancement of      elements. Learners will revert to
    updates. Comprehensive                         full contact tracing and fast-track testing   emergency remote learning after those
    information documents                          and, crucially, arrangements for staff in     practical elements are completed.
                                                   high risk health categories, those over the
    are also available on the                      age of 60 and pregnant teachers to            VulneraBle learners
                                                   continue to provide remote teaching.          The TUI agreed that vulnerable learners
    website, and these will                                                                      requiring onsite presence to support
    be appropriately updated                       further/adult                                 wellbeing or access to workspace and
                                                                                                 Wi-Fi to complete course work can also
    with any new information.                                                                    be accommodated, bearing in mind the
                                                   The reopening for Further Education and       overall footfall of the FET
                                                   Training is co-ordinated by a FET             centre/institution. In addition, as part of
                                                   Stakeholders Forum. Communication
    second leVel
                                                                                                 the phased reopening, onsite access for
                                                   issued from the Stakeholders Forum on         vulnerable learners at Level 1 and 2
                                                   February 25th in respect of the return to     including STP and NLN is proposed from
    The TUI has consistently said that
                                                   FET centres for learners at levels 4, 5 and   March 22nd, 2021. Onsite activity should
    members are prepared to facilitate a           6 who are engaged in time-critical
    phased and cautious return of students to                                                    only include the minimum number of
                                                   practical elements across the awards          learners required onsite at any given time
    schools, subject to the advice and             including QQI, City of Guilds, ITEC,          supplemented with emergency remote
    continuing review of the situation by          Junior and Senior Trade examinations. It      tuition.
    public health authorities.                     was advised that the target reopening
                                                   date for these time-critical classes is       additional suPPorts and
    Special classes in post-primary schools        March 15th, 2021.                             safeguards
    reopened on 22nd February, with final                                                        Further education and training
    year Leaving Certificate returning on 1st      The Stakeholders working group met            institutions will continue to operate
    March and 5th year students returning on       again on March 10th, 2021. The TUI was        primarily online with emergency
    15th March. The remaining year groups at       satisfied with the way the first stage of     remote learning remaining the
    post-primary level are due to return on        the reopening process was delivered by        primary mode of delivery for most
    12th April, subject to the prevailing public   the sector when the final year Leaving        activities with remote working
    health advice.                                 Certificate / Leaving Certificate Applied     encouraged where possible.
                                                   session 4 learners and a small number of
    At all times, TUI has acknowledged the         critical and time sensitive apprenticeship    The TUI is ensuring that all
    vital importance of face-to-face provision     classes returned to FET Centres.              planned phased return will be
    for students and notes that a number of                                                      carried out in a phased approach
    concerns that it had expressed have now        aPPrenticeshiP                                and in accordance with current
    been addressed and extra safeguards            Following the successful return of 251        Governmental COVID-19
    provided.                                      apprentices from 1st March, a second          Resilience & Recovery 2021 – The
                                                   group of 320 time-critical apprentices will   Path Ahead framework. All
    However, the union also said that it must      recommence onsite practical training and      planning will be based on full
    be recognised there is still considerable      assessment from Monday 15th March.            adherence to the prevailing
    anxiety and concern among school staff,                                                      national guidelines and health and
    students and their families around the         tiMe-critical assessMents                     safety regulations.
    return to schools. In that context it is       leVel 4-6
    imperative that all safeguards and             Having considered public health advice        Given that FET is continuing online under
    measures set out to protect health and         and the need to continue to limit             Level 5 Restrictions and the very limited
    safety in schools are adhered to. The          attendance onsite, the TUI agreed that        extent of onsite attendance (strictly
    union stated that it will not tolerate any     learners at levels 4, 5 and 6 who are         limited to what is essential and
    slippage in that regard and will take          engaged in time-critical practical elements   time-critical for course completion
    decisive action to protect members in          across the awards including QQI, City of      purposes and which cannot be delivered
    any setting where nonadherence to safety       Guilds, Junior and Senior Trade               online), the TUI is ensuring that staff in
    measures occurs.                               examinations will commence returning to       the high-risk category as well as the over
                                                   FET centres and colleges on 15th of           60’s and pregnant staff may continue
                                                   March as part of an agreed process for a      working remotely if they choose.

4    March/april 2021 - TUI NEWS
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third leVel                                      For some time, TUI had sought the
                                                                                              All safety measures must be
TUI has negotiated terms for a marginal,         establishment of a Third Level
                                                 Stakeholders’ forum, modelled on the         strictly adhered to – members
limited increase in onsite activities in IoTs
                                                 successful forum in Further Education        will withdraw from engagement
and TUs, as supported by public health
advice. Only essential, time-critical            and Training for which TUI also lobbied.     in situations where measures and
activities which cannot be conducted             On 8th March, the Partnership of             safeguards not being adhered to
remotely and are required for                    Stakeholders in the Technological Sector
                                                 (POSITS) forum, comprising TUI, Fórsa,       At national level, all measures must be
programme completion are to be
facilitated while all public health              SIPTU, Unite, THEA, TU Dublin, the           kept under ongoing review, not least to
requirements must be in place. Principles        Higher Education Authority, and the          take account of the emerging new
and guidance have issued to Branches. It         Department of Further and Higher             variants of COVID-19.
is clearly laid out that local consultation is   Education, Research, Innovation, and
a key element in the limited increase in         Science, met for the first time.             Now more than ever, all risk mitigation
onsite activities. Any efforts by                                                             measures and safeguards will need to
                                                 The principles for the marginal, limited     be strictly adhered to. The health and
management to bypass that stage must be
                                                 increase in onsite activities was            safety of students, staff and their
opposed, including through the agreed
                                                 negotiated at the POSITS forum. A more
collective grievance procedure if                                                             families cannot be compromised. TUI
                                                 detailed document was negotiated
necessary. As elsewhere, TUI has                                                              members will withdraw from
                                                 directly between TUI and THEA, and a
negotiated that pregnant members,                                                             engagement in situations where the
                                                 similar agreement is being sought with TU
members who are 60 years old or older,                                                        measures and safeguards that protect
and members in the high-risk health                                                           them and their students are not being
category can continue to work remotely
                                                                                              adhered to.
if they so wish.

state examinations 2021 – an update
IMPORTANT: The Union has produced and regularly updated a significant
and comprehensive set of FAQs on all issues related to this year’s State
Examinations. Click here to access most up-to-date documents.

On 17th February, the Minister for               regressive decision in                       would not be betrayed again, the TUI
Education Norma Foley TD announced               relation to additional                       demanded and has secured water-tight
                                                 assessment components
that following a Government decision, the                                                     protections in this regard.
                                                                                              no precedent
Leaving Certificate 2021 examinations
would proceed and that students would            The TUI said that the Minister’s decision
also have the alternative option of              to externally assess oral and practical      Critically, our engagement with these
applying for grades accredited by the            examinations only for the conventional       measures cannot and will not be regarded
State Examinations Commission (SEC), to          Leaving Certificate process is regrettable   as a precedent for or as agreement to
be known as SEC Accredited Grades.               and regressive. Those marks should also      operate any such measures in future
                                                 be applied to the SEC Accredited Grades      years. Our engagement with this process
tui expresses concerns                           process as sought by the TUI in the          is only on the basis of necessity due to
but recognises that some                         practical concrete proposals that it         the national health emergency. Public
key issues addressed                             brought to the negotiations. Provision of    Health advice permitting, we envisage the
                                                 an estimated mark that incorporates the      Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate
While expressing serious concerns about
                                                 additional assessment components for         running in the established manner in
aspects of the parallel processes, the
                                                 the SEC Accredited Grade is a poor           2022.
Union recognised that a number of key
                                                                                              consultation with
                                                 second best.
issues that it brought forward in the
intensive negotiations on behalf of              rank ordering – tui                          members
members were addressed. These include            secures protections                          The TUI continues to consult intensively
the retention of the established Leaving         Crucially, the TUI Executive Committee       with members and will seek further
Certificate and of additional components         noted that the Department breached and       clarifications, where necessary. Should
of assessment as well as protections and         betrayed the trust of teachers by            you have further questions or
safeguards against any form of canvassing        reneging on an assurance given to            observations, please send them to
and lobbying. A commitment has been              teachers, in relation to the 2020  , making
secured by the TUI for the introduction          calculated grades system, that the student   sure to include details of your workplace
of legislative protections for teachers. The     ranking would only be available in           or branch.
TUI also noted that, following its public        response to a data access request.
request, final clarity was given on the          Determined to ensure that our members
Junior Certificate examinations.

                                                                                                 - TUI NEWS            5
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    Mtu – ballot results make                                                don’t miss out -
    clear the need for                                                       tui’s accredited course
    meaningful engagement                                                    in trade union studies
    to address concerns of                                                   will run again in 2021/22
                                                                             In October 2019, the TUI set up its first online course for
    The Munster Technological University (MTU) was established               Union representatives in collaboration with the City of
    on the 1st January 2021 by the amalgamation of Cork Institute            Glasgow College Trade Union Centre. 18 members
    of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee. As part of the         completed the course In March 2020 having completed 9
    transition process towards a technological university, the               online activities, which addressed topics such as the role
    members in each branch (Cork and Tralee) were balloted on                of representatives, how to access resources and how to
    the Terms and Reference and Memorandum of Understanding.                 deal with disciplinary and grievance procedures. An
                                                                             additional 23 members will complete the course in 2021.
    Concerns began to emerge relating to the failure of the two
    institutes to implement the terms of the agreed memorandum.              The course is fully accredited and the successful
    With a view to resolving the industrial relations matters, the           participants are awarded a level 5 Certificate in Trade
    union requested the assistance of the Workplace Relations                Union Studies. The participants came from all the various
    Commission (WRC) which resulted in intensive negotiations                sectors that the TUI represents and all spoke of the
    occurring in November and December 2020.                                 enjoyment they got from doing the course and how it gave
                                                                             them extra confidence in fulfilling their various roles in the
    The WRC issued a proposal to all parties in January 2021. Due            TUI from member of the Workplace Committee to
    to COVID-19, the union could not organise workplace ballots              Branch Officer.
    on the proposal, so a process to carry out postal ballots was
    instead pursued. In each branch, the WRC proposal was                    The TUI is now inviting applications for a limited number
    rejected and a ballot for industrial action passed. The first            of places for next year’s course which is scheduled to
    phase of industrial action is under consideration. TUI has               commence in October 2021.
    consistently stated that the resolution of industrial relation
                                                                             For further information or to enrol contact John O’Reilly
    disputes can only be found through meaningful engagement.

    A note from the Teaching Council:
    guidance for registered teachers about the use
    of social Media and electronic communication
    On 9th February 2021 (Global Safer            and engaging ways. Electronic                media tools. It is our intention that it be
    Internet Day), the Teaching Council’s         communication and social media also          a useful reminder for some, or generate
    ‘Guidance for Registered Teachers about       provide new ways for teachers to             awareness for others, on the appropriate
    the use of Social Media and Electronic        communicate with students, colleagues        use of social media and electronic
    Communications’ was launched. The             and the public.                              communication.
    Guidance was launched through an ezine
    which issued to all registered teachers.      An extensive consultation process took       The Social Media Guidance document
    Additionally, the Guidance was published      place with the draft Guidance document       may also assist schools when developing
    on the Teaching Council website,              issuing to every teacher on the Teaching     a school’s individual social media policy
    circulated to stakeholders by e-mail and      Council register who held an e-mail          but should not replace or act as a social
    published on the Council’s social media       address and submissions sought. All key      media policy for schools.
    platforms.                                    stakeholders engaged in the consultation
                                                  process between December 2018 and            Please click here to view the Social
    Many teachers use social media and            September 2019.                              Media Guidance document on the
    electronic communication to enhance                                                        Teaching Council website.
    their classroom practice, introducing         This guidance seeks to support teachers
    their students to new tools and               in continuing to make the best use of
    delivering the curriculum in innovative       electronic communication and social

6    March/april 2021 - TUI NEWS
News Vol.43 / no.4 March/april 2021 - Teachers' Union of Ireland
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new mental health and
wellbeing resource for schools
Jigsaw, the youth mental health charity, have launched
the Jigsaw Schools Hub - a new resource offering schools
across Ireland the latest tools and information to help
them support young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

At you will find a
growing range of resources for school
staff, created by the Jigsaw team in
collaboration with young people, school
staff, and parents.

The charity recognises the demands
faced by school staff during these
extraordinary times, and wants to
ensure that they have access to the
resources they need to feel confident
and comfortable exploring mental health
and wellbeing with young people.

The resources contribute to delivering a
mental health and wellbeing programme
as part of the school curriculum. And
they have been tailored to support
school staff and students during the
Covid-19 pandemic.

What you will find…                        Why the Jigsaw                                The Jigsaw Schools Hub is supported by
                                           schools hub?
                                                                                         Rethink Ireland through the Innovate
■ An Introduction to youth mental                                                        Together Fund, a collaboration between
  health toolkit to help school staff to                                                 Rethink Ireland and the Department of
                                            “We know that schools and their staff
  explore mental health and wellbeing                                                    Rural and Community Development
                                           do hugely important and amazing work
  with young people in the classroom.                                                    (via the Dormant Accounts Fund).
                                           in helping to support young people’s
  Young people will creatively learn
                                           mental health. And in the Covid-19            No matter how your school role
  about their mental health and
                                           pandemic we know that this has become         supports young people’s mental health
  wellbeing, including what can support
                                           much harder. On top of all this, school       and wellbeing, at the Jigsaw Schools Hub
  and challenge mental health, ways to
                                           staff are facing greater demands. This is     you will find a growing range of up-to-
  manage feelings, and how to seek
                                           why, with the support of Rethink Ireland      date resources, tools and information to
  help if and when it is needed.
                                           through the Innovate Together Fund, I         help you with your work.
                                           am delighted to be launching The Jigsaw
■ Ways to support and look after your      Schools Hub, with vital mental health and     Find out more at
  own mental health. As you support        wellbeing resources to support
  young people, it is important to         educators at this uniquely difficult time,”
  remember to take the time for self-      said Jigsaw’s Chief Executive Officer,
  care and to look after your own          Dr Joseph Duffy.
  wellbeing too.
                                           “We believe that the Jigsaw Schools Hub
                                           will help school staff to feel more
■ What school leaders can do to            confident and better equipped in how
  create a whole-school approach that      they respond and support young people
  supports staff and students with their   with their mental health. And we hope
  mental health and wellbeing.You will     that it will grow to become an
  look at what a whole-school              indispensable resource that will
  approach to mental health means,         contribute to the delivery of wellbeing
  and how can it help your school.         as part of the school curriculum.”
                                                                                           JIGSAW CEO JOSEPH DUFFY

                                                                                              - TUI NEWS        7
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    education international steps up
    climate change action in 2021 and
    It is over a year since COVID-19 was
    declared a global pandemic. Today,
    battling the virus remains an
    immediate and pressing priority
    across the globe.

    However, we cannot forget that
    climate change continues to be the
    greatest threat facing humanity and
    our planet. Climate change is an
    unquestionable reality that is already
    causing irreversible damage and great
    suffering. If we do nothing, our very
    existence is at stake.
                                             leaders, with the campaign running       preparedness to teach climate
    As recognised by Education               until COP 26 in November. Stay           change education (as well as
    International’s 2019 World Congress,     tuned for more information from EI
    education unions have a crucial role                                              education on sustainable
                                             in order to take part in upcoming
    to play in fighting for a sustainable                                             consumption and production, human
                                             consultations on EI’s policy demands.
    world. Taking collective action to                                                rights including gender equality, and
    advance climate justice is our           The campaign launch event, Teach for     cultural diversity and tolerance). Do
    responsibility – and it cannot wait.     the Planet: the Global Education         teachers globally feel they have the
    Therefore, EI is urgently stepping up    Summit will feature prominent            knowledge, motivation, training, time,
    climate action this year and beyond.     activists from every continent,
                                                                                      resources, and support to teach
    ei launches a climate
                                             compelling live panels, interactive
                                             features and powerful stories about      about the climate crisis? We want to
    change education                         educators and unions making a            know!
    campaign: teach for                      difference around the globe. From
    the Planet
                                                                                      The results of the survey will help us
                                             science education in the face of fake
                                                                                      place the teacher perspective at the
    Education is a powerful tool to          news to why we need transformative
                                                                                      centre of the conversation about
                                             climate education now, the event will
    combat climate change.Yet education                                               climate change education and will be
                                             inform, inspire, and compel to action.
    is too often neglected in                                                         an important part of EI’s campaign.
                                             We will also be joining forces with
    governments’ climate action plans.       the Youth Summit and the Hip Hop         The survey - accessible by clicking
    We want this to change. Therefore,       Caucus as part of this event.            this link - will be open for
    EI is launching a flagship campaign                                               responses until 25th April.
    calling for governments to urgently
                                             climate change
                                                                                      Climate change affects the most
    prioritise the provision of quality                                               vulnerable in our societies and
    climate change education for all.        education?                               across the world. As education
                                             Because teachers are crucial for the     unions, we have a responsibility to
    The campaign will be launched on 21
                                             provision of universal quality climate   take urgent action on the climate
    April ahead of the Climate Summit
                                             change education, EI has teamed up       emergency and the promotion of
    hosted by the US on Earth Day (22
                                                                                      quality climate change education for
    April). Educators will call for          with UNESCO to find out directly
                                                                                      all. Thank you for joining us in this
    ambitious climate change education       from teachers about their
    commitments to be made by world

8   March/april 2021 - TUI NEWS
News Vol.43 / no.4 March/april 2021 - Teachers' Union of Ireland
tui neWs

‘Women leadership and change’ -
ictu marks international Women's day
On Friday 5th March, the ICTU Women’s                             While there have been improvements in               need for all Governments to ratify ILO
Committee organised a Seminar                                     the numbers of women working at the                 Convention 190, which is the first
‘Women Leadership and Change’ to                                  most senior levels in the public sector,            international labour standard to address
mark International Women’s Day. In her                            private sector business has a long way to           violence and harassment at work.
address to this event the General                                 go. Currently, only one in nine CEOs are
Secretary of ICTU, Patricia King,                                 female while only 7% of board                       Governments and employers who are
reminded delegates that despite                                   chairpersons are women.                             members of the ILO have agreed on the
women’s increased engagement in public                                                                                Convention and have committed to
decision-making roles, equality is yet to                         The impact of the pandemic was not                  improving laws, services, and procedures
be achieved. Notwithstanding the fact                             gender-neutral. From job losses and                 for preventing and tackling violence and
that women are entering politics in                               reduced working hours to spikes in                  harassment. Congress is currently in
greater numbers than ever before, men                             domestic violence and more difficulties             dialogue with Minister O’Gorman with a
still dominate politics and power in                              combining work and family                           view to agreeing on a proposal on the
Ireland with only 25% of cabinet posts                            responsibilities, the effects of the                introduction of Domestic Violence Leave
held by women.                                                    pandemic have hit women the hardest.                in Ireland.

Globally, according to UN figures, the                            We need to remember all women who                   Congress also calls on Minister
pattern is no different, where only in 14                         have been in the vanguard of the national           O’Gorman to progress the long-awaited
countries do women account for 50% or                             effort to keep us safe and ensure the               Gender Pay Gap Information Bill as a
more of cabinet members. Congress                                 provision of our essential services. They           matter of urgency.
urges political parties to select and                             have made massive sacrifices and taken
                                                                  many risks to keep society functioning in           We are looking forward to working with
support more women candidates in the
                                                                  the areas of healthcare, teaching, retail,          the UN Decade of Action programme
future to ensure that women can achieve
                                                                  the office, and in the home.                        which we expect will accelerate our
50% representation in parliament within
                                                                                                                      progress to achieving the ‘2030’
a reasonable timeframe.
                                                                  We will continue to work with our                   sustainable goals agenda for women and
                                                                  international colleagues to reinforce the           girls globally.

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                                                                                                                                       - TUI NEWS                                                        9
News Vol.43 / no.4 March/april 2021 - Teachers' Union of Ireland
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     tui in the media
     In recent weeks, TUI representatives have engaged with the media around a
     number of key issues. A sample is set out below.

                                                                                     and students, and realise that what      being put under pressure. We
                                                                                     we want is a robust system that          welcome the indications from
                                                                                     does have integrity and that any         Government in relation to
                                                                                     undue pressure on teachers would         protections for teachers so that the
                                                                                     be unacceptable.’ TUI President          system’s integrity isn’t undermined.’
                                                                                     Martin Marjoram interviewed on           TUI President Martin
                                                                                     importance of protections for teachers   Marjoram addresses the need for
                                                                                     for Leaving Certificate 2021 on          protections for teachers regarding
                                                                                     Virgin Media News bulletins              Leaving Certificate 2021 on Virgin
                                                                                     18/2/21                                  Media News bulletins -
                                                                                              ________________                26/2/21
                                                                                     Public health advice must                       ________________
                                                                                     guide return to school, unions           “Tracking and tracing measures
                                                                                     warn                                     must be robust and fit for purpose,
      MARTIN MARJORAM, RTE 1ST FEBRUARY                                              The TUI said its members are             while any member of the school
                                                                                     prepared to facilitate a phased and      community - staff or student - who
     ‘The Leaving Certificate is far more   ‘We realise that students are under      cautious return of students to           has symptoms of Covid-19 or is a
     than a sit-down exam. There are a      a lot of stress and strain and we        schools, subject to ongoing reviews      close contact of a confirmed case
     huge range of second components        want to alleviate it. The only way to    by the public health authorities.-       must stay at home,” said TUI
     of assessment – orals, practicals,     do it is to provide clarity. Any         Irish Examiner 23/2/21                   general secretary Micheal
     performances in music, engineering     process must take into account                    ________________                Gillespie. “We have already stated
     and construction projects – and all    students’ and teachers’ concerns                                                  that we will not tolerate any
     of these test different skills.’ TUI   and we must have a Leaving               Schools will reopen on
                                                                                     Monday for Leaving Certs                 slippage in terms of nonadherence
     General Secretary Michael              Certificate that has integrity and                                                to key safety measures in
     Gillespie interviewed on RTE's         that is meaningful.’ - TUI General       and junior infants to second
                                                                                     class, Minister confirms                 workplaces.” - Irish Times
     Drivetime programme 1/2/21             Secretary Michael Gillespie                                                       1/3/21
                                            discussed the union's engagement         The Teachers’ Union of Ireland said
            ________________                                                         a continuing review of the situation            ________________
     TUI General Secretary                  in the process for this year’s
                                            Leaving Certificate and the union’s      is needed by public health               The Teachers’ Union of Ireland
     Michael Gillespie was                                                           authorities, Irish Times 23/2/21         (TUI) urged vigilance to ensure that
     interviewed on Newstalk’s The          position on the phased return to
                                            schools on RTE Radio 1’s Today                    ________________                the return is safe and sustainable.
     Pat Kenny Show about the hike                                                                                            The union has said that it is
     in numbers applying through the        With Katie Hannon                        ‘It is really important that school
                                            programme 13/2/21                        authorities and the Department           “absolutely imperative that all
     CAO system and its implications                                                                                          safeguards and measures to protect
     and also issues around Leaving Cert            ________________                 ensure full compliance with all
                                                                                     necessary measures in order to           health and safety in schools are
     2021 2/2/21                            Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning                                                         adhered to”- RTE website
                                            Ireland, the TUI’s Martin                keep everybody safe.’ TUI
            ________________                                                         President Martin Marjoram                1/3/21
     ‘We still hope that the traditional    Marjoram said the union had                                                              ________________
                                            come to a decision that the Junior       interviewed on RTE’s Nine News
     Leaving Certificate with                                                        regarding confirmation of a return       TUI General Secretary
     modifications to take account of       Cert couldn’t run. “We have come
                                            to a decision we don’t like coming       to schools for final year Leaving        Michael Gillespie outlined why
     the lost face-to-face tuition time                                              Certificate students - 23/2/21           TUI believes mock examinations
     can run in something close to the      to, but on balance the Junior
                                            Certificate examination cannot go                 ________________                for final year Leaving Cert students
     normal way.’ TUI President                                                                                               are counter-productive and should
     Martin Marjoram discussed              ahead this year,” he said. “It’s a       Leag Declan Glynn, Ard-Rúnaí
                                            decision we have made with regret”       Cúnta, amach na socruithe i leith na     not take place with limited tuition
     TUI’s position on Leaving Cert                                                                                           time remaining in this academic
     2021 on RTE's Six One News -           17/2/21                                  mBéaltrialacha Ardteistiméireachta
                                                                                     ar an gclár Tús Áite ar Raidió           year on RTE's Drivetime
     1/2/21                                         ________________                                                          programme 4/3/21
                                            ‘What’s good about the plan is that      na Gaeltachta ar 26ú Feabhra
            ________________                                                                                                         ________________
                                            public health advice supports the                 ________________
     TUI President Martin                                                                                                     Phléigh Declan Glynn, Ard-Rúnaí
     Marjoram discussed the re-             running of the state exams in June       ‘We now have several months of
                                            and that the additional components       teaching still to go that that does      Cúnta, ceist na mbréagscrúduithe
     opening of special classes from                                                                                          Ardteiste ar an gclár
     22nd February, the possible return     of assessment are covered. In terms      provide potential dangers in that
                                            of these additional components,          teachers could find themselves           Adhmhaidin, de chuid Raidió
     of Leaving Cert students and                                                                                             na Gaeltachta ar 5/3/21
     related issues on RTE’s Today          one of the biggest disappointments
     With Claire Byrne programme            is that they will only be provided to
     11/2/21 Click here                     those who are going to sit the
                                            written exam. We believe that this
            ________________                would have been a far more robust
     TUI General Secretary                  system had they been provided to
     Michael Gillespie set out TUI’s        everybody.’ - TUI President
     position on Leaving Cert 2021 on       Martin Marjoram took part in a
     RTE television news bulletins,         panel discussion on RTE’s Today
     confirming that no new concessions     With Claire Byrne programme in
     have been offered to other             relation to this year’s Leaving
     stakeholders by Government             Certificate 18/2/21
     13/2/21                                        ________________
            ________________                ‘We would appeal to everybody
                                            that they adhere to their
                                            responsibilities, particularly parents     MICHAEL GILLESPIE, RTE NEWS 13TH FEBRUARY

10   March/april 2021 - TUI NEWS
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tui neWs

12   March/april 2021 - TUI NEWS
tui neWs - TUI NEWS
tui neWs

     CONGRESS – 26TH JUNE 2020

          MOTIONS OF
           RULE 23
        TO THE COVID-19
     Motion 1 - Health
     Congress notes
     ■ that the members of the TUI look
       forward to the re-opening of schools,
       centres, colleges, institutes and
       universities to all staff and students as       PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS, ANNUAL CONGRESS 26TH JUNE 2020
       soon as that can be done safely and
     ■ the Union’s consistent, reasonable
       and principled view that its advice to          under the “Safety, Health and Welfare          Education and Skills/Employer
       members will at all points be                   at Work Act 2005” to select and                decisions or protocols in relation to
       informed by and in compliance with              appoint a “Safety Representative”).            return to workplaces, including those
       the advice of the public health                 the obligation on employers to                 in respect of social distancing, must
       authorities                                     provide appropriate training in a              be based upon and adhere to the

     ■ the duty of the Union to protect the            timely manner to all employees in              advice of the national public health
       best interests of members, having               relation to safe return to the                 authorities
       regard to their right to a safe                 workplace and other related matters            any such decisions must prioritise the
       workplace, including when working               the deficits in terms of physical              health and safety of both staff

       remotely                                        infrastructure and facilities of               members and students

     ■ the duty of care of members to their            education sector workplaces                    prior to and framing any such
       students                                        uneven and inadequate access to                decisions, there must be full,

                                                       broadband and appropriate digital              meaningful and structured

     In this context Congress notes                    learning resources available to                consultation and discussion at
     ■ the continuing risk associated with             members and students                           national level with the TUI and other
         Covid-19 according to the public              that current cleaning and hygiene              relevant parties
         health authorities                            regimes (and resourcing therefor) are          shaped by this consultation and

     ■ the current requirements under public           insufficient to support a safe return to       discussion, national guidance must

         health authority advice and                   those workplaces                               issue and must inform discussion and
         government decision in relation to            the substantial number of staff                implementation of such decisions at
         physical distancing in workplaces             members and students who have                  local, institutional, employer and/or

     ■ the right of workers under the                  underlying health issues that                  sectoral level (as relevant)
         relevant protocols to have Lead               significantly increase the level of risk       the necessary level of resources
         Worker Representatives in place,              they would face upon return to the             (including PPE, where appropriate)

         selected by those whom they                   workplace.                                     be made available to schools,
         represent and as set out in the ICTU                                                         colleges and centres
         guidelines                                Congress therefore demands that
     ■ the pre-existing right of workers           ■ any Government/ Department of                Congress also instructs the Executive

14   March/april 2021 - TUI NEWS
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Committee to initiate a campaign of            following the Christmas 2020 break and            members by importing –
action and, if necessary, ballot members       the Union is engaged with the relevant            inappropriately and without
for industrial action, at institutional,       authorities, including Public Health, in          agreement - elements of the
employer, sectoral, regional or national       this regard.                                      emergency arrangements
level, as appropriate, in the event that                                                         impose a regime of online
return to workplaces is demanded in a          Motion 2 - Workload                               assessments in order to reduce costs
                                               and IR

manner and/or at a time that is                                                                  move permanently and without
considered not to be consistent with the                                                         agreement to a greatly increased

advice of the public health authorities or     Congress notes that                               reliance on online delivery and
that places at risk the health and safety of   ■ TUI members have been working                   working from home
members and/or of their students.                throughout the period since closure of          unilaterally impose calendar or
                                                 schools/colleges/centres on 12th                timetable arrangements that breach
The Union has consistently applied the           March                                           the terms of existing agreements
policy set out by the motion in relation to    ■ teaching and learning in a remote               and/or circulars
each sector and employment in which we           environment has been and continues              combine classes, increase class size
have members. A fundamental under-               to be very challenging for members              and thereby both increase the
pinning principle of the TUI’s approach          and their students, respectively                workload of some members and
is adherence to public health advice.          ■ members of the Union have                       reduce or eliminate the working
In this regard and to embed the TUI              demonstrated their commitment in                hours of others
position in public and political                 maintaining their service (including            assign additional administrative and
discourse, the Union has, both before            but not confined to emergency                   compliance duties to members

and since Annual Congress 2020,                  remote teaching) to students
engaged in a sustained media campaign,         ■ workload has increased significantly        Congress rejects such opportunistic
clearly setting out the five key demands         as a consequence                            manipulation of the goodwill of TUI
in numerous high-profile national and          ■ the TUI secured a specific agreement        members and exploitation of the public
regional media interviews.                       (covering each sector) that the             health crisis. Congress instructs the
                                                 arrangements put in place to deal           Executive Committee to protect
The Union also demanded and secured              with the Covid-19 emergency do not          members against such exploitation by
structured, regular engagement                   constitute a precedent and will not be      ■ demanding and negotiating a
regarding health and safety and other            repeated in ordinary times                     sustainable workload model, to
issues relating to the re-opening of           ■ in each sector, exceptional                    include an interim arrangement (if
schools, centres and colleges with the           arrangements were put in place by              necessary) for the coming year
Ministers and senior officials of the DES        members in order to ensure that             ■ negotiating the necessary resources
and DFHERIS, the relevant education              students could complete their                  (not least ICT resources) to support
management associations and bodies               programmes of study and have access            both that model and the high quality
and, where necessary, the Public Health          to the appropriate accreditation or            education provided to our students
authorities and other partners. The              certification, including changes to         ■ instigating an effective campaign of
Union has also addressed issues to and           assessment procedures in the FET               action wherever instances of
through the ICTU where it is the body            and third level sectors and the                opportunism or exploitation by
that represents employees at particular          development and implementation of a            employers occur and, in this regard,
national fora – such as the Labour,              calculated grades system at second             if necessary, balloting members for
Employer, Economic Forum (LEEF).                 level.                                         industrial action, at institutional,
                                                                                                employer, sectoral, regional or
As a direct result of TUI’s                    Congress is concerned that,                      national level, as appropriate
representations, functioning stakeholder       notwithstanding commitments received          ■ pursuing the Union’s existing claims
fora on COVID-19 issues are in place           by the Union that no precedent will be           with vigour.
for the post-primary, Further and Adult        established, some employers are seeking
Education and Higher Education                 to                                            The TUI has been vigilant in addressing
sectors. Through these fora, the Union         ■ normalise and embed these                   issues as and where they arise.
has been able successfully to press home           exceptional and once-off                  Recognising that local transgressions by
its demands.                                       arrangements, including the               management would continue in the
                                                   associated increases in workload          absence of nationally agreed protocols
At the time of writing, due to firm action
                                               ■ frustrate the Union’s legitimate and        and protections, the Union negotiated an
taken by the TUI (in the light of the very
                                                   reasonable pre-existing claims, such      Emergency Remote Teaching Agreement
sharp increase in cases and the
                                                   as the claim at Third Level, in respect   with the Technological Higher Education
emergence of COVID-19 variants that
                                                   of on-line learning                       Association (THEA) and the
are more transmissible) schools, centres
                                               ■ change terms and conditions of              Technological University Dublin. This
and colleges have not yet re-opened

                                                                                                  - TUI NEWS        15
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     agreement makes it clear that emergency      appropriate and adequate resources and       In relation to post-primary, the TUI was
     measures related to or necessitated by       that they are always in full compliance      the first stakeholder to point to the need
     the COVID-19 public health emergency         with the prevailing public health advice.    for adjustments to the Leaving
     do not set a precedent and that members      To that end, the TUI has insisted that all   Certificate examinations 2021 to take
     can make appropriate academic                documents first come to stakeholders in      account of the disruption caused by
     decisions to facilitate student learning     draft form for commentary. By providing      COVID-19 restrictions, including
     during the emergency.                        extensive and consistent feed-back on all    periods of school closure. The Union
                                                  such drafts, the Union has succeeded in      also highlighted the fact that the
     Similar “no precedent” agreements were       exercising positive influence on the         negative impact of these disruptions has
     negotiated by the Union for the post-        documents that eventually issued to the      varied substantially and that already
     primary and Further and Adult                system and on associated levels of           marginalised students have been further
     Education sectors.                           resourcing.                                  marginalised, not least because of poor
     In respect of the alternative assessment                                                  connectivity, the lack of adequate ICT

                                                  Motion 3 - Programmes of
     arrangements for 2020 – for example,                                                      resources and the cost (to families and/or
                                                                                               schools) of procuring such resources.
     the Calculated Grades process - the
     Union insisted upon (and secured) a                                                       Jointly with the ISSU, the TUI, in autumn
     written agreement that these too would                                                    2020, addressed to the Minister and
     be deployed on a no precedent basis.         Recognising that restrictions imposed in
                                                  response to the Covid-19 health crisis       through the media, the emerging problem
     Moreover, if, based on public health                                                      of undue focus by some schools on serial
     advice and the prevailing conditions         have meant that some elements of certain
                                                  programmes of study/curriculum/syllabi       assessment of Leaving Certificate
     related to COVID-19, any such                                                             students, to the detriment of appropriate
     alternative arrangements are again           could not be completed for particular
                                                  cohorts of students, Congress instructs      teaching and learning.
     required in 2021, the no-precedent
     agreements will again have to apply.         the Executive Committee to engage with       Late in the year, the State Examinations
                                                  the appropriate statutory authorities,       Commission confirmed that adjustments
     The Union has raised workload concerns       awarding bodies and/or management            would be made to the return dates for
     directly with individual employers           authorities with a view to having            certain LC assessment components and
     (Institutes, ETBs, Boards of Management      appropriate adjustments made to the          that greater choice would be offered to
     of schools) and has, in most cases,          programmes/curriculum and/or related         students in the LC written examinations
     secured local resolution. In some cases      assessments so that students are not         in June 2020. At the time of writing, the
     that has required recourse to the            unfairly and adversely affected by           Union is seeking a more extensive range
     applicable grievance procedure. Where        circumstances that are beyond their          of adjustments to take fair account of the
     matters have not been resolved locally,      control and that the necessary resourcing    further period of school closure and
     the Union has brought them to the            is provided to support any such              reliance on emergency remote teaching
     national management bodies and/or to         adjustments. Furthermore, such               in early 2021.
     the relevant Industrial Relations national   adjustments must respect fully members’
     forum (Teachers’ Conciliation Council,       existing terms and conditions of             The Union has also kept under review
     ETB IR Forum, IoT IR Forum or NNF).          employment.                                  the (QQI and other applicable)
                                                                                               assessment modalities in Further and
     Health and safety matters relating to        Congress also instructs the Executive        Adult Education and is seeking
     remote working have been raised in the       Committee to demand of Government            appropriate adjustments. The Union has
     relevant stakeholders’ fora on COVID-19      and the relevant agencies that the           also made specific representations in
     related issues or, if appropriate, at the    educational inequalities that have been      regard to courses in which placements
     industrial relations forum for the sector.   starkly illustrated and exacerbated by the   are a required element for qualification
     Some such matters have also been raised      digital divide (as it has affected           and progression to employment.
     by the TUI at the ICTU Health and            particular cohorts of students during the
     Safety Committee.                            period of school/college/centre closure)     At third level, issues relating to
                                                  be addressed as a matter of urgency and      assessment have been addressed in the
     Throughout the period since March            the requisite resources provided towards     first instance at and through the
     2020, the TUI has invested significant       that end.                                    designated academic fora. Where
     effort into ensuring that guidance                                                        matters of contention are not resolved
     documents issue from the DES and other       This position was consistently set out in    locally, they are brought – if need be as
     relevant departments in a timely manner,     TUI press releases and by TUI                IR issues – to the appropriate national
     that those documents are comprehensive       contributors to national and regional        forum.
     in their scope, that they prioritise the     media in the weeks and months that
     health and safety of staff and students,     followed Congress 2020.
     that they identify and provide for

16   March/april 2021 - TUI NEWS
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