The ASTI is the North Korea of the Irish Trade Union movement 

This is the speech I gave today April 18 2017, at ASTI Convention
Orwell, 1984 seems apt to begin:

‘It was a bright cold day in April, and all the clocks were striking thirteen’
This motion shows all too clearly the embarrassing situation the ASTI has propelled itself into over the last year. The ideas it represents are fine and impossible to argue with, but the method of achieving these ends is as usual deeply flawed.

Let’s recap.

Under the pretence of acting to achieve ‘equal pay for equal work’ we have had a year with no planning, teaching time reduced to accommodate parent teacher meetings, hundreds of teachers have completed a year of s&s for free, lost an increment, have not received advanced restoration of pay since April 1, and left an improved pay scale on the negotiating table. Post 2011 teachers have received nothing from all this, and are voting with their feet, hundreds leaving this association to guarantee CIDs, permanent contracts we are denying them, not to mention exposing the most vulnerable to redundancy in the absence of redeployment.

In order for this motion to mean anything, we would have to see evidence that our leadership want to have something to do with pay agreements, and have abandoned the often repeated mantra that sometime soon the DES will fold and give the ASTI a ‘sectoral deal’.

This motion ignores the simple fact that when you negotiate you need flexibility. It would further .tie the hands of negotiators, the same negotiators who returned from the most recent engagement unable to recommend to members the outcome of those talks. Do we realistically expect them to secure these ends?

I expect there will be those who will condemn me and others for saying these things out loud. They will say we voted for this. And we did. But democracy requires we take rationality for granted (that’s good sense and sound judgment). We voted for an idea, not a plan. Many voted in response to a text message. Our trust in a text message, apparently, relieved us of the need to understand.

History stopped in 1936 – after that, there was only propaganda. Again George Orwell. For the ASTI history seems to have stopped sometime in 2014.

We are fighting a war that for everyone else is long over.

Governed in the absence of elections. SC, VP

Suffering from delusions of our own grandeur, long since passed and forgotten by all but a few.

A Hermit Kingdom, willfully walling itself off from the rest of the world.

There’s only other place like this. 

The ASTI is the North Korea of the Trade Union movement.

Fintan O’Mahony
CEC member 2003-16, 2017-
Standing Committee 2011-16
ASTI member since 1993
Responses/comments welcome as always
twitter: @levdavidovic

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The ASTI is the North Korea of the Irish Trade Union movement 

  1. Hopefully Fintan you might start to ‘respect the light’ when you finally manage to see the light!!
    I respectfully disagree with your opinion, but respect your right to voice it – something which WOULDNT be tolerated in North Korea but thankfully IS encouraged in the ASTI.
    Enjoy the convention!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s