February 24 In the Press

Teachers' strike - INTO members will be striking on Wednesday moring for a half day strike action following the results of a ballot before Christmas.

INTO to tell Minister that lack of budget is ‘an unacceptable ransom’ on education

By Eleanor McGillie

Budget cuts, bullying and the overwhelming importance of education for our children and wider society will be at the forefront of the debate at this year’s annual Northern Conference of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO).

Over 200 delegates from all sections of education will descend at the Radisson Roe Hotel in Limavady on Friday and Saturday (February 27+28) to debate significant issues such as the ongoing funding crisis, teacher workloads, bullying, assessment and special needs provision.

Gerry Murphy, the Northern Secretary of INTO, will be joined on stage by the Minister for Education, John O’Dowd, who will be told that using cost and lack of budgets is ‘an unacceptable ransom’ when it comes to the education of children.

Mr Murphy, who will make a speech during the public session on Friday, said: “The theme of this year’s conference is ‘the value of education’. We have carefully chosen this because INTO is concerned that unless society begins to recognise the importance of education to children, and the wider economy, we will descend into a system where cost dictates how well our children can afford to be educated. For INTO, as the largest teaching union in Ireland, this is not an acceptable position and it is deemed an unacceptable ransom on education.”

The conference has come at a crucial time as INTO has started a ballot of its members because the ongoing cuts agenda is deemed as damaging to the future of children across the region.

Mr Murphy added: “Our members have grown increasingly angry and the outcome of this ballot on March 5 will determine how we now move forward to support our membership and challenge those in government who continually tell us that it is costing too much and Stormont can no longer afford it.

“This conference will also give an opportunity to the Minister and those who manage education to hear at first hand the anger and distress of professional teachers. It is their opportunity to reflect on whether their path is the right one. Our members will listen eagerly and they will expect to hear that the value of their professionalism will now be recognised and that the incessant cuts agenda will end.”

ENDS:

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. The Northern Office is based at Vere Foster House, 23 College Gardens, Belfast. #CutsHaveConsequences
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379| Education PR Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Public Relations PR Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | #CutsHaveConsequences
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