Teachers strike to defend rights of children to get the education system they deserve
By Eleanor McGillie
Ireland’s largest teachers’ union has announced it is calling on its 7,000 members in schools and colleges to defend the rights of our children’s education by taking part in Friday’s strike action.
A special emergency session held by the Northern Executive on Monday night (09/03/15) declared INTO’s (Irish National Teachers’ Organisation) decision to urge all members to support an education system our children deserve and not one which the Executive determines it can afford.
Gerry Murphy, the Northern Secretary for INTO, said its members are also determined to show those in the corridors of power they will no longer accept their attempts to tear the teaching profession apart.
Speaking at last night’s meeting, Mr Murphy said: “Friday’s strike is just the beginning of the campaign to defend the right of children to a properly resourced education system and the right of professional teachers to feel secure in their employment.
“Friday’s strike will send a clear message to those who doubt the commitment of INTO members to this campaign that we will wave placards, we will make our voices heard and we will expect that the agenda of cuts and job losses ceases immediately and is replaced by one of reinvestment.
“We urge all those who value the education of our children as a priority to stand up and be counted with INTO on Friday.”
At the meeting last night, the Northern Executive also established an industrial action committee which will coordinate and refine the ongoing action to drive INTO’s campaign forwards. Furthermore, the Executive has also agreed on a range of measures which members will engage in after the strike – measures which will focus on those who impose or support the cuts agenda.
Mr Murphy added: “Processes are now in place to drive our campaign forwards but I must reiterate that INTO members endeavour to minimise the effect on parents and children as a result of strike action.
“This campaign is about the right to a quality education. It is about the right of teachers to feel valued and supported as part of that system. It is a campaign about changing hearts and minds and stating that, even in the most stringent times, there is always an alternative way if you choose to find it.”
Mr Murphy said proposals have been put to the Education Minister John O’Dowd but INTO have not received a response.
He said: “INTO will wait to see what happens next. If our proposals are met with silence, and the cuts, then the resolve of INTO will only strengthen and INTO will respond appropriately.”
NOTES TO EDITOR:
- INTO is the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation. It is the largest teachers’ union in Ireland. INTO has a Northern Office and a Southern Office. Our Northern Office is based at Vere Foster House, 23 College Gardens, Belfast. #INTOMarch13
- For interview requests or further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379|
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