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ASTI, TUI members to be asked about merging unions


Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) are to be surveyed on a merger of the two unions.

An independent polling company will conduct the survey later this month asking members if they are in favour of an amalgamation.

Addressing the ASTI Annual Convention in Wexford, the ASTI President Geraldine O’Brien said the two unions have had a long standing agreement to explore a possible merger and that extensive discussions and exploratory talks have been held on unification.

“The aim would be to create a new union that is member focussed,” Ms O’Brien said.

“There will be vast amounts of consultation ahead.”

“The new amalgamated union will not look like the ASTI or TUI, it will be an entirely new union.”

“Any final decision involve a democratic ballot of all members,” she added.

In his address to the convention, ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie said progress on a possible merger has been fairly slow and that both sides are anxious not to rush.

“The purpose of the brief survey will be to gauge the opinion of members from both unions around the possibility of unification,” Mr Christie said.

“If we get the sense that there is no appetite for this then we will discontinue the process.”

“We just want to check in with the members to get a steer on what they want and how they feel. Ultimately, it is their union and their wishes must be respected,” he added.

Meanwhile, cyberbullying, working hours and sick leave entitlements will be among the topics debated at the convention today.

A motion will call for stronger legislation to deal with online harassment.

A Dublin secondary school teacher told the convention about his experience of being cyberbullied by a pupil.


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