ASTI accuses Department of Education of interfering with the balloting process for additional working hours

The ASTI intends to continue balloting its members next week

ASTI accuses Department of Education of interfering with the balloting process for additional working hours

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The secretary general of the Department of Education has been accused by the ASTI of intervening in its ongoing ballot on proposals for additional working hours.

The teachers' union says Seán Ó Foghlú openly attacked them at a conference of school managers last week.

ASTI members are currently voting on whether to support the introduction of the Croke Park Hours, which will result in schools extending their academic year by 33 hours from next September. They plan to continue balloting its members until next week.

Mr. Ó Foghlú said issues of the ballot relating to these hours are very serious for the union's members as well as for our schools.

He added that any rejection of the Croke Park Hours would also lead to the union rejecting the Public Services Stability Agreement under the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

General secretary with ASTI, Kieran Christie says these comments were "unprecedented":

"Well the ASTI deplores the very unwarranted intervention of the secretary general of Department of Education and skills and indeed the Department itself in placing material on its website interfering in the democratic process of the ASTI would bring a ballot to withdraw from the Croke Park hours as they are now known. 

"This is entirely unwarranted and unprecedented intervention and we reject it."