Secondary teachers vote to end "Croke Park" hours

They feel the 33 additional annual hours are being wasted on staff meetings....

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The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) has voted to no longer work the additional hours introduced with the Croke Park Agreement.

Teachers will stop fulfilling the condition – which came under a national pay deal agreed to in February 2011 – requiring them to stay in school for 33 extra hours each year.

This time was chiefly spent on staff meetings.

The decision came at the ASTI conference in Cork, where delegates described the extra work as "demeaning" and "stupid".

Time spent on class preparation or other work was preferred to "meaningless" meetings.

The current agreement runs out at the end of June, with the ASTI not yet signed up to the new Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Teachers across three unions are currently fighting to restore pay for people new to the profession.

Pay scales were cut for new teachers in 2011, which could mean a loss of over €100,000 throughout a career.