Teaching unions to see if nurses' dispute can be used to benefit their members

Teaching unions will stake their claim for more money for members, especially new entrants, if it emerges that nurses get more pay.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) wants to see if the Labour Court's recommendation on the nurse's dispute can be used to benefit their members.

General secretary of the ASTI, Kieran Christie, said it would seek more money if it turned out that nurses got more pay on top of what was agreed in the Public Service Stability Agreement.

“I would imagine that if the detail leads up to that conclusion, of course, we will,” Mr Christie said on RTÉ radio.

He said FEMPI (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) should never have been used against the ASTI and should not be used against nurses.

Describing it as a "draconian, repugnant piece of legislation" Mr Christie said he hoped it was dead.

"We have been calling for its burial for years. So if it's dead it's great.”

The legislation was drawn up when there was an emergency but the former Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, had declared years ago that the emergency was over.

“So why are we talking in 2019 about the application of emergency legislation years after the Minister for Finance of the country involved has declared the emergency was over?

It's absurd and should not be used on the nurses and should never have been used on the ASTI.

The Teachers Union of Ireland is analysing the court's recommendation in the context of the union's ongoing campaign to end pay discrimination.

TUI president, Seamus Lahart, warned yesterday that if the issue went unresolved some schools would be forced to send students home because there were not enough teachers.

Mr Lahart said young graduates were making other career choices because of the disparity in pay between teachers who qualified before 2010.

A TUI survey of 150 schools last December found that three-quarters had received no applications for an advertised teaching post in the previous 12 months.

The Garda Representative Association said it was analysing the Labour court recommendation while the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors was not commenting on it.

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, said he "made a compromise" when asked on RTÉ radio yesterday if he had "caved into" the nurses, but insisted that the recommendation was "consistent" with the Public Service Stability Agreement.

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