Report from a WSM member at the INTO Congress


In what is being described by RTE as a blow to the leadership, delegates at the INTO annual Congress in Galway today (Tuesday) passed a motion which declared that the Public Sector Agreement 2010 -2014  is contrary to INTO policy.  After a lively debate, it was agreed to endorse the union leadership's decision to put the deal to a ballot of the membership but the section of the motion which called for a recommendation that members reject the deal in that ballot was defeated by just 4 votes - 308 to 304.

This close vote came despite the efforts of the union leadership to convince the delegates that this deal was the only alternative.  Clearly many union members are extremely unhappy with both the content of the deal and the manner in which the Central Executive Committee of the INTO was one of the first public sector unions to issue a recommendation for acceptance to its members. 

Following the vote a meeting of INTO members opposed to the deal took place and a campaign for a No Vote will be launched at a press conference which will be addressed by a number of Branch and District officers from around the country at 11:30a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday).

Earlier in the day, Minister for Education Mary Coughlan received a very frosty welcome when she addressed the Conference.  Up to 200 delegates held up placards during her speech with messages such as ‘Top 1% control 34% of the wealth – Fair? Cut My Pay. No way’ and ‘Leave our public services alone. Stop blaming public servants’.

Meanwhile the Teachers Union of Ireland Conference in Ennis has unanimously backed an emergency motion calling for rejection of the deal.  It’s clear that across all public service unions there is widespread opposition to the deal.