Home > Croke Park Deal, Education, TUI > Analysis of the Agreed Education Sector Agenda

Analysis of the Agreed Education Sector Agenda

Agreed Education Sector Agenda

It must be understood that this is one of Four Agreed Sectoral Documents which together form the Transformation Agenda. Public Services Committee(ICTU) have now explicitly accepted continuation of the pension levy and the continuation of the staffing moratorium (which inter alia bans the filling of Posts of Responsibility in Primary and second level schools and reduces staffing at third level). The four sectoral documents are designed to save the government as much money as would be saved by pay cuts over the coming years. The Agreed Education Sector Agenda is also governed by the General Public Services Agreement which is analysed elsewhere in this Blog

Bracketed Comments in italics below are mine–PH

Education Sector

The following range of measures are designed to facilitate the most effective and efficient use of resources and to maximise the quality of educational delivery.

Teachers

* The provision, with effect from the start of the 2010/11 school year, of an additional hour per week to be available to facilitate, at the discretion of management, school planning, continuous professional development, induction, substitution and supervision (including supervision immediately before and after school times). This list is not exhaustive. (The clause could have wideranging implications. It should be understood in the context of the agreement to continue the banning of replacement for Posts of Responsibility. For example in a 40 teacher school , the principal would now have 40 hours per week for non-teaching duties provided free by teachers. One effect would be that principals could avoid some of the duties of unreplaced PORs being loaded on them The extra duty hour also applies to existing POR holders. In the negotiations with the teacher general secretaries the Department included teaching in the duties mentioned. This was removed during the negotiations and restricted to non-teaching tasks. Suggestions that this is merely a document tabled by Department are complete nonsense).

· With effect from the start of the 2010/11 school year, post-primary teachers to be available for three timetabled class periods per week under the supervision and substitution scheme (while leaving the current maximum number of hours used per teacher per week under this scheme the same as at present).
(self explanatory!)

· Full implementation of new procedures providing for redeployment of surplus teachers, to commence from January 2010 and to be fully implemented for the start of the 2010/11 school year.
(There are commitments to cross-sectoral redeployment in existing agreements. One source of problems in implementing the commitment is that some voluntary secondary schools refuse to accept transferees. It is not clear whether “new procedures” are additional to the commitments in existing national agreements. The three General secretaries with members in this area should be asked to explain. In any event the pay cut is a breach of T2016 by the employer. The moratorium is a breach of all previous national agreements. Teacher unions, therefore, have no obligation to honour the commitments on redeployment given in these agreements)

· A comprehensive review and revision of the teaching contract to identify and remove any impediments to the provision of efficient and effective teaching to students in all sectors. This review and revision to be completed in advance of the start of the 2010/11 school year.
(This is the most dangerous provision of all. To renegotiate teachers contracts in the contexts of temporary pay cuts and threats of further pay cuts and the continuation of the ban on replacing PORs risks losing everything we have gained since the Ryan Report on PORs in the late sixties. Teachers with huge mortgages, suffering from pension levy and pay cuts could be put in the position of balloting on a proposal to restore pay cuts over time in return for a bonfire of all gains made by the union over 40 years. I believe that the neo-liberal managerialists in Dept of Finance, Dept of Education and in the Cabinet, have a new business style model for the running of schools which would remove most promotional posts as is being demanded by Batt O’Keefe. A teacher who by end of service would have gained an AP post would loose over 9,000 Euro per annum while serving and 4,500Euro per year while on pension!This would be a pay cut in another form!Teaching could become one of the few grades in the public service with virtually no promotional posts! )

Institutes of Technology

· The completion by 30 April 2010 of all elements of the review of the academic employment contract currently in train.
(At meetings of the national negotiating Machinery for Institutes of Technology (IR Forum) before pay cuts, the Department and Institute managements sought elimination of the norm of 16 hours per week time-tabled lectures for lecturers and 18 hours per week for assistant lecturers to be replaced by an annual commitment to 560 and 630 lecturing hours. This could mean weekly lecturing loads of 22 and 24 hours. Renegotiation of employment contracts under threat of retention of existing pay cuts and new pay cut would be suicidal. A series of Meetings of IR Forum to discuss these matters has now been scheduled with the first meeting to be held on March 29—in advance of TUI annual Congress )

· With effect from the start of the 2010/11 academic year, the provision of an additional hour per week to be available to facilitate, at the discretion of management, all educational activities in the Institutes. This usage to be informed by the outcome of the review referred to above.
( As in second level, the intention is to replace many head of school/head of department posts with un-paid labour of lecturers. Departments of Finance and Education have planned the introduction of a neo-liberal business model of academic management . See university section below )

· Flexible delivery of new courses specifically targeted at unemployed individuals.
(already such courses are been delivered on a casual hourly paid basis. This would increase the threat of redeployment to craft lecturers. See below)

· Implementation of redeployment schemes for academic, administrative, technical and support staff across the Institutes and between Institutes and the wider public service as appropriate with effect from the start of the 2010/11 academic year. (This would enable the Department to redeploy lecturers not only between Institutes of Technology but into other parts of the public service such as Fas, CERT(Failte Ireland), Board of Works etc. The immediate threat is to teachers of apprentices and culinary arts subjects. Unless government takes an initiate to rescue apprenticeship, over 200 craft lecturers will be surplus to requirements. Rationalisation of provision in science, engineering and business could also lead to redeployment)

Universities and other Higher Education Institutes

· With effect from the start of the 2010/11 academic year, the provision of an additional hour per week to be available to facilitate, at the discretion of management, teaching and learning in the university/institute. (I wonder what “management” will make of this?)

· Co-operation with the introduction of academic workload management and full economic costing models and with the compilation of associated data to support these. (FEC! FEC! FEC! This is not a rude expression by a busy lectiurer as two hours is spent filling in a glorified time-sheet. It is an acronym for Full Economic Costing. Universities are to be run like companies “delivering services” I can feel the blood pressure of academics rising at the prospect. The notion that academics are habitual “skivers” who require business style management by administrative “superiors” is quite outrageous)

· Co-operation with redeployment/re-organisation/rationalisation arising from the review of Higher Education strategy and changing economic and social circumstances.
(This is so comprehensive that it could mean anything. Above all, it must mean the abolition of TENURE which is held with a single university and is incompatible with re-deployment between universities. What if a person was re-deployed to a third level institution where tenure did not apply? The importance of TENURE as a bullwork of democracy has been demonstrated by the free contribution of academic economists on the current economic crisis. Tenure is a bullwork of democracy!Agreement with this clause would permit government to amend the UNIVERSITIES ACT without opposition.)

    A comprehensive review and revision of employment contracts to identify and remove any impediments to the development of an optimum teaching, learning and research environment. This review and revision to be completed in advance of the start of the 2010/11 academic year. (The re-negotiation of contracts in the context of the threatened retention of existing pay cuts and the imposition of further pay cuts would not only destroy conditions of service of academics but would be certain to seriously damage Irish education and scholarship).

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Categories: Croke Park Deal, Education, TUI

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