‘Demoralised’ teachers lose out in VEC dispute over transfers

AFTER losing their dispute with the VEC over teacher transfers, the Laois branch of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) has said that teachers will be left “demoralised and concerned”.

The talks which were held under the auspices of the Labour Relations’ Commission, found in favour of Laois VEC.

In a statement issed to the Leinster Express, the Laois branch of the TUI said that they are considering the implications of the arbitration decision.

“The decision of the arbitrator was based on technical considerations. Unfortunately, it has the effect of demoralising teachers who are concerned that they might be transferred on the whim of a CEO regardless of their years of service”, said Mary Higgins, chairperson of the Laois branch of the TUI.

“It remains the view of our members that the two transfers were decided without appropriate consideration of the educational needs of the schools and centres in the scheme. While it accepts the arbitrator’s decision, TUI will continue to look for justice and fairness for its members”.

When contacted by the Leinster Express, Acting CEO Joe Cunningham said that CEO Anne O’Keeffe was currently on sick leave. He added that he was glad that the matter had finally been brought to a conclusion.

“I hope that the focus on the VEC will now return to the great work that takes place in our schools, centres, and education units throughout the county”, he said.

When asked specifically about the decision, Mr Cunningham explained that the arbitrator had found that determining the educational needs of the scheme was solely the responsibility of the CEO under legislation and that, in transferring the two teachers from Portlaoise College, the CEO had complied with the provisions of the IVEA/TUI Transfer Agreement.

Speaking to the Leinster Express, chairperson of Laois VEC, Councillor Mary Sweeney said that she was pleased a decision had been made.

“I am satisfied as Chairperson of Laois VEC that as a result of the arbitration agreement matters have now been concluded. The arbitration declares that the provisions of the IVEA/TUI transfer agreement were followed in the recent transfer of two teachers from Portlaoise College. I sincerely hope that following the conclusion of arbitration we can now continue providing the best possible teaching and learning environment for all our students throughout our schools and education centres in County Laois.”


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