Students will suffer the most: “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”

Irish Second-Level Students’ Union

ISSU PRESS STATEMENT 23/02/10

ISSU is disappointed to hear of the recent announcement made by the second-level teaching unions with regard to taking their industrial action to the next level.  Speaking this evening a representative from ISSU, the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union, said that “The quality of our teaching staff is the foundation stone of our education system and is the envy of most other European countries. Teachers play a crucial role in shaping our future and ultimately the future of our country, however the current moratorium is impacting severely on the smooth operation of schools. Teachers who hold posts of responsibility play vital roles in supporting students on a day-to-day basis and more often than not are in more contact with students, as they still have timetabled teaching hours.

‘A-post’ holders are respected figures in schools, providing guidance, support and advice to students when they need it most. Typically these are form/year heads or exam coordinators. ‘B-post’ holders fill the gaps of creativity, teamwork and personal development of students – the putty that repairs the cracks in our out-dated syllabi. Typically these are teachers who manage an incredible array of extra-curricular activities from sports to chess to craft clubs…. the list is endless!

It is indeed unfair to expect teachers to provide this additional student support structure without the proper remuneration – we call on the Minister for Education and Science to include this as an exception to the moratorium to ensure the smooth running of schools before students suffer as school operations grind under the pressure of a severe lack of resources. As industrial action increases in an attempt to reverse the infamous tsunami of education cuts in 2008, we implore the Minister to sit down with the teaching unions and come to some sort of arrangement before it’s too late. ‘Tread softly because you tread on my dreams’ ”.

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