ireland4.jpg  Anti-cuts Demonstration in Ireland Last Year The Irish government is threatening to impose a worsening of conditions of service on secondary teachers and lecturers The Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) and the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) have consistently opposed the so-called Croke Park agreement which was negotiated this spring by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTFU) and which gives up many important rights. For teachers it would mean amongst other things an extra unpaid hour's work a week - as well as giving up some pension rights and banning strike action. TUI and ASTI have been taking action as a result of their rejection of the Croke Park deal - including refusing to attend parent-teacher meetings and planning meetings and imposing class size limits. The government has now said it will impose the changes unless the unions enter talks. Irish trade unionists were some of the first to oppose the so-called austerity measures imposed by governments all over the world in response to the financial crisis and teachers have often been in the forefront of this fight. This has certainly been the case in Ireland.