Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Teachers angry at 'broken promises'

The Government has been condemned over education cuts

Teachers angered over education cuts have accused the Government of breaking election promises.

Anne Fay, president of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (Into), told delegates schools were experiencing the tightest squeeze for decades.

More than 800 primary teachers attending the annual conference in Cork heard that public services and public servants are left battling a government determined to make its citizens bear the cost while many who caused the economic crash could avail of economic absolution through bankruptcy.

Elsewhere the majority of 500 second level teachers at the Asti convention in Wexford voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion calling for a rejection of the Croke Park II pay deal.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn will address members at both events on Tuesday. In her keynote address, Ms Kay said there is increasing anger among teachers about education cutbacks in primary schools.

"There are more pupils but relatively fewer teachers, operating costs are rising but government funding is falling, there are more special needs pupils but teaching hours are being cut back, there are more disadvantaged children but supports are being reduced or in some cases eliminated," she said.

The primary teacher from Fermoy in Co Cork did not address the controversial pay talks directly in her speech as a members are holding a postal vote on the proposals.

Instead she said there was anger at investment in education becoming another discredited election promise, not a real priority to return Ireland to economic growth and social equality.

Ms Fay also accused the government of refusing to get the wealthy to pay their fair share through fair taxation. "Instead, they champion a policy of targeting cuts at public servants and public services," she added

The Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) also opens its conference in Galway on Tuesday with a special motion on Croke Park, even though its members have already voted No to the deal.

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