From Voice for Teachers Facebook page….
Classroom teachers, SNAs, Secretaries, Caretakers, Classroom Assistants, Computer Teachers, School Administrative Assistants, Office Administrators, Sports/PE Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists…
These are just some of the positions that have been advertised by primary schools on the JobBridge website overthe past couple of weeks. In fact, in that period of time primary schools have advertised over 170 positions.
We must point out though that only 137 schools are attempting to engage with this ‘scheme’, out of the 3,293 primary schools in the State. 96% of principals have not gone next or near this exploitative scheme.
All of us agree – as has been clearly expressed by Congress 2012 and 2013, by the CEC and by the General Secretary and other INTO officials – that the employment of teachers via JobBridge is wrong and exploitative. We are further agreed that if we allow it to happen, it will become “the norm” for Newly Qualified Teachers leaving college to be expected to donate a year of cheap labour.
INTO is united behind the view that teachers should not be employed through the JobBridge scheme.
In this post, we would like to address the other school positions that have been advertised on JobBridge.
Voice for Teachers understands why many schools and principals feel the need to fill positions via JobBridge. Years of cutbacks have meant that all schools are under pressure.
But we must be very careful – if we allow JobBridge to become established as a means of delivering important services to schools, it will quickly become “the norm”. And if JobBridge becomes the norm for delivering caretaking, secretarial, SNA or other positions to schools, it will very quickly become expected that these services can be delivered through cheap labour without the need to provide ancillary grants.
We could very well find ourselves covering up for the cuts to ancillary grants and to SNA provision. We could inadvertently be giving the green light to further cutbacks in Education. An unintended consequence of trying to make up for cuts already made could be paving the way for even further cuts.
Voice for Teachers knows that many principals who have advertised JobBridge positions have done so due to the severe pressure they are under to deliver the best possible service to their school communities, despite severe cutbacks. But we appeal to principals to see the bigger picture and to recognise the long-term damage that could be caused to our education system by JobBridge. If you are one of those principals who has put an ad on the JobBridge site, please re-consider and please withdraw your co-operation with JobBridge for the good of Education.
Voice for Teachers also knows that principals and staff members may be under pressure from Boards of Management to co-operate with the employment of ancillary staff via JobBridge. We recognise that it can be difficult for principals to resist attempts by BOMs to push for JobBridge.
We also know that it can be very difficult for staff members to resist attempts by BOMs and/or principals to insist on JobBridge positions.
However, we sincerely believe it is important that all of us do resist this exploitation and the possible damage it could do to our education system.
We would like to offer our help and support to any principal or teacher who find themselves caught in this difficulty.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to offer you our support.