Irish Congress of Trade Unions – National Demonstration – Saturday 21 February, 2009
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Statement by John Carr, INTO General Secretary, Calling on Teachers to support ICTU Demonstration
18th February 2009
INTO calls on teachers to support Saturday’s march
The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation has called on all primary teachers to support next Saturday’s demonstration in Dublin planned by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
The General Secretary of the primary teachers’ union, John Carr, said the demonstration would be a defining moment for Irish society. “The turnout on Saturday will not change the economic situation in which the country finds itself. But, massive turn out will send a clear message to government that ordinary people want a better, fairer way of dealing with the problem.”
He said the demonstration would be seen as a day for citizens to have their say.
He said all workers, whether in the public or the private sector, whether currently in employment or not, want an economic recovery plan that is fair to all. “Public sector workers want to see the most vulnerable, low paid and unemployed protected from the worst effects of recession,” said Carr. “Equally, private sector workers see the unilateral attack on public sector workers as unfair.”
He said the message from teachers so far was that they were prepared to play their part and pay their fair share but only if everyone in society is asked to contribute according to their means.
Mr Carr said no one was buying what he called “the declaration of war” on the public service by “representatives and mouthpieces of the wealthy elite”. This he said was nothing more than a tactic to divide public and private sector workers with the sole aim of driving down the wages of all workers. “If this is allowed to happen the only beneficiaries will be the golden circle,” said Carr.
Mr Carr said the only fair, coherent plan for national recovery was the one put forward by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and said “even at this late stage, government should adopt it.