Minister heckled over equal pay at ASTI conference

Minister for Education Richard Bruton was heckled by delegates calling for equal pay as he delivered his address to the ASTI conference in Cork.

As he spoke of new initiatives in education there were groans, shouts and laughter from the floor - writes

There was loud cheering, shouting, and sustained applause when the minister referred to the issue of pay 25 minutes into his address.

Mr Bruton said this was an area where progress could be made.

The minister received applause when he was introduced but ten minutes into his speech the heckling began.

On three occasions there was a call for order from the top table. The heckling continued throughout his address.

There were loud groans when Mr Bruton spoke of Junior Cycle reform, and heckles when he spoke of the need to build capacity for leadership in schools.

On teacher supply he said he was proud to have employed 5,000 extra teachers, but some delegates shouted out "yellow pack pay" to that.

It was a minority of delegates who engaged in heckling. Others muttered more silently or shook their heads.

There was applause for the minister as he ended his address.

Earlier, speakers at the ASTIconference welcomed moves by all the unions to agree to a ballot on industrial action if proposals to end pay inequality are not agreed within a month.

However, they also expressed regret thatthe Teachers' Union of Irelandand the Irish National Teachers Organisationdid not join the ASTIin strike action they took last year.

Delegate Sean Fox told the convention that "every other public sector union" was silent when ASTI members had been locked out of their workplaces last year.

He said ASTI members had not only carried the can for teachers by taking that action, but also for all public sector workers affected by unequal pay.

Delegate Mary Lindon said the ASTI's clothes had now been stolen by the INTO and the TUI, who were belatedly supporting the idea of industrial action.

Richard Terry referred to the several thousand members who had left the union, many of whom went to the TUI, because of last year's action. He said co-ordination with the other unions was key.

This morning the minister said that the Government is committed to making progress on the issue of equal pay for teachers.

Minister faced further calls over pay at INTO conference

He was speaking at the annual Irish National Teachers Organisation congress in Killarney, Co Kerry, prior to travelling to the ASTI conference.

As Mr Bruton spoke about digital technology, he was heckled by somedelegates who called out "What about equal pay?"

Protesters were interrupted by INTO President John Boyle, who reminded them that there was a long traditionof welcoming the minister despite their differences.

Mr Bruton acknowledged that the union had a "justifiable" demand for pay, which was greeted with applause.

He highlighted the 75% pay restoration and reduction in contracts for indefinite duration from four to two years, and said these were real improvements.

The minister told the congress that discussions on new entrant pay across all sectors of the public service will start on 27 April.

However,Minister Bruton later qualified his use of the word "justifiable" to describe teachers' pay demands.

Questioned by journalists, he said that while pay equality was a "justifiable" demand for unions to have, he had to balance it against other "legitimate expectations" and budgetary pressures.

Pay inequality a 'running sore' - INTO

INTO General Secretary Sheila Nunan told the conference that partial equality was not equality and there was no such thing as a "little bit equal".

She calledpay inequality "a running sore" within the profession and that while there had been some progress in talks held last year, there had been a "wasted opportunity" to draw a line under pay discrimination that was sapping morale, eroding goodwill and a major cause of the current teacher shortage in schools.

Ms Nunan called for an "immediate and time-bound engagement", starting this month and finishing next month, that would end pay inequality.

She said if that effort fails then the union would ballot members for a campaign of industrial action, up to and including strike action, where possible with second level colleagues.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, the President-elect of the ASTI said she agrees with the minister's assertion that teachers' demands for equal pay is justifiable.

Breda Lynch said she will make it clear to Mr Bruton when he is at the ASTI conference this afternoon that pay inequality is "unjust", and any trade union has to fight for fair and equal pay for all members.

She said they will not settle for anything less.

Lower pay for newer entrant teachersis the big issue this year for all three unions and INTO delegates who began their conference yesterday were vocal in their view that their patience was running out.

The ASTI and the INTO have agreed to table a common motion giving the Government one month to agree proposals.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.
ASTIconference heckled
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
6 views in september
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

See our privacy notice Changes to the road layout where a tragic Dublin cyclist was killed could save the lives of others, an inquest has heard. The jury at the inquest into the death of Daragh Ryan (30) recommended the provision of safety measures where he died after attempting to enter the Phoenix Park on his bicycle. The accident happened on Conyngham Road as the young man tried to cross the road to enter the Phoenix Park through the Islandbridge Gate o...
Deliveroo are looking for more bike riders to spin around the capital bringing takeaway food to hungry customers. The jobs boost comes as the UK-based food delivery service announces massive growth across Dublin in the past year, a trend they're tipping to continue for the next 12 months and beyond. They say that their riders earn over €10 per hour on average - and any current Deliveroo cyclist to refers another Dublin-based rider to them will be paid a fi...
Drugs Minister Catherine Byrne has admitted that crack cocaine use is on the rise and said communities "are living in fear due to the violence associated with the illegal drugs market". The minister is seeking a meeting with members of Setanta GAA club in Ballymun , who last week told how a crack epidemic is threatening an entire generation of young people in the area. She said yesterday: "I know from the feedback received, in particular from community-bas...
Responding to criticism last week Commissioner Drew Harris said the force must work within the cash available. Garda overtime cuts are now affecting vital armed cover and an operation targeting gangland gun crime. Units in Dublin and checkpoints as part of the anti- Kinahan /Hutch Operation Hybrid have been hit. A source said: “Everyone accepts the Budget overspend but these are critical operations and it is going to have a knock- on impact. “The concern i...
They were at risk of sinking in high seas. A group of divers were rescued yesterday afternoon after their boats developed mechanical problems and started filling with water. The team, from Viking Sub Aqua Club in Dublin, were at risk of sinking in high seas when they were rescued by a passenger ferry off the coast of Co Antrim. The Rathlin Express diverted after a distress call from one of the boats at about 2pm. Lifeboats were also launched from Red Bay a...
Journalist Gemma O'Doherty has been formally endorsed by Laois County Council to contest the Presidential Election. It is Ms Doherty’s first endorsement and she requires a further three endorsements from local authorities to secure a nomination to run for the presidency next month. She was proposed by IndependentBen Brennan and seconded by Sinn Féin's Aidan Mullins. Ms O’Doherty received four votes, including one vote from a Fianna Fáil councillor. There w...
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is due to deliver an address at the United Nations in New York later today. Mr Varadkar will speak at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the UN, which Ireland worked in partnership with South Africa to organise. In his address, Mr Varadkar is expected to reference the Northern Ireland peace process and highlight the fact that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Today's summit is part of the United Natio...
A Dublin punter is thousands of euro richer after a savvy €1 bet. The Lotto bettor placed a €1 bet on their four lucky numbers in the Lotto draw - and walked away €7,501 richer. They made the bet on Saturday's Lotto draw on numbers 8, 15, 30 and 35 and managed to beat 7,500/1 odds. Aoife Heffron from BoyleSports said: “What a way to spend €1 by backing your lucky numbers and being rewarded with a fantastic €7,501 windfall. "We love to see our customers win...
Gardaí have begun door-to-door inquiries on Valentia Island as part of a serious crime review into the investigation of the 1984 Kerry Babies case. The body of a newborn baby, subsequently named John, was washed up on White Strand in Cahersiveen on 14 April 1984. The baby had been stabbed several times and the mystery surrounding the baby's death has never been resolved. The discovery of the baby's body, the subsequent discover of the body of a second baby...