The effects of the massive education march on December 6th, which saw over 70,000 people on the streets are being felt.
The Department of Education and Science have announced interim arrangements for teacher substitution in primary schools. There will be substitute cover for teachers on uncertified sick leave other than on the first day of absence. In a school where more than one teacher is absent on the first day of uncertified sick leave, substitute cover will be provided for the second and subsequent teachers that are absent. In schools with two teachers or less cover will be provided where any classroom teacher is absent.
This small but important victory shows that depsite Minister O’Keefe claiming he ‘wasn’t for turning’ that people power has forced him to at least begin to row back on some of the savage cuts announced in the recent budget.
The INTO has said that this is the first achievement of the INTO’s campaign against the budget cutbacks, but that "It won’t be the last…it is not a resolution of the education cutbacks in the budget and not why people marched."
It is important that the campaign is built and spread in the new year. All cuts must be reversed and a grassroots campaign can achieve this.