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PPTA President’s U-Turn Welcome But …

24 September

PPTA President’s U-Turn Welcome But …

“PPTA President Jen McCutcheon U-Turn on taking industrial action to include Degree Equivalent Teachers in the 12.1% pay rise is welcome but the horse has already bolted,” Martin Cooney, spokesperson for the September 20 group said today. He was responding to Ms McCutcheon’s comments in her speech to the PPTA conference where she stated that a plan including industrial action will go to Annual Conference.

“The U-Turn is significant in that only yesterday Ms McCutcheon was again sounding like an employer when she told reporters ‘All I can say is that industrial action is illegal when you've got a settled collective’,” said Mr Cooney. “Her U-Turn was plainly in response to calls from the September 20 group and others for industrial and other action.”

“One problem with Ms McCutcheon’s overnight U-Turn is that action will only occur after the mediation and ADR panel report. But PPTA itself says that the Ministry of Education is ‘stonewalling’ and plainly the only thing that will change their mind is concerted and immediate action. Action is needed immediately and our group will continue to pursue strong action beginning in week one of term four. The PPTA proposal seems to have more to do with spiking a fiery debate at Conference than genuinely bringing the full force of PPTA behind these teachers.”

“The Executive should never have allowed ratification of the STCA without sorting this issue out. Our group argued to wait till Degree Equivalent Teachers were in the deal then attempted a legal injunction to stop the ratification but was unable to do so,” said Mr Cooney. “The horse has now clearly bolted and now Ms McCutcheon decides to check the door.”

“Similarly, Group 1 and 2 teachers have been ignored in this issue and the offer of a ‘workshop’ at Conference is insulting.”

Mr Cooney stated that the September 20 Committee would still meet on Wednesday evening (25/9/02) to decide the next step. Decisions would be announced after hearing what specific proposals were decided on at Conference.

For more information: Martin Cooney 03 385 2126

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