Paul O'Hara

Chairperson I.T. Carlow Branch Candidate for Area Rep. in Area 15

  1. I have been a T.U.I. member since being appointed to Waterford R.T.C. in 1977.
  2. I have worked in Carlow R.T.C. since 1978.
  3. Over the years, since first being elected school rep. on the Branch Committee in 1979, I have served the Branch on the Branch Committee as Chairperson, Secretary,
  4. Equality Officer, School Rep. and Department Rep.
  5. I was first elected Branch Secretary in 1981.
  6. I am presently Chairperson of I.T. Carlow Branch.
  7. I have served as a member ( representing our Branch ) of the Carlow Council of Trade Unions for the past 8 years.
  8. I am presently Treasurer of Carlow Council Trade Unions.

Some of the activities that I have been involved with are:

In 1981, as Branch Secretary I compiled and submitted claims for the promotion of 3 College Teachers to L1 under the terms of Agreed Report 14/79 ( 1 in 4 promotions procedure ). After a short period of industrial action ( i.e. blacking new appointments ) and common-sense negotiation we won our case. We were informed at the time that we had got the first "1 in 4 promotions" of teachers of apprentices in the country.

In 1981, using negotiation and a threat of industrial action, we stopped the College Teacher Grade being used as a recruitment grade for all areas in Carlow R.T.C.

In 1981, I compiled, costed and submitted a claim for our Branch members to be paid half-monthly instead of monthly. After negotiation our C.E.O. agreed to the claim and implemented it in 1982. This made our Branch one of the first in the country to be paid in this manner with all of its attendant advantages to our members.

In 1981 I was involved in a number of national level meetings of Branch Officers which made submissions to the Executive Committee regarding a new Structures Agreement for Regional Technical Colleges and Colleges of Technology under the control of V.E.Cs (i.e. Agreed Report 5/82 ).

In 1981 we enforced a Branch Directive of a maximum of 25 students in theory classes.

In 1982, under the promotion terms of Agreed Report 5/82, I compiled and submitted a claim to the V.E.C. and the Department of Education for the promotion of all eligible College Teachers ( all teachers of apprentices ) in Carlow R.T.C. Within a few weeks of submission the claim was granted ( without industrial action ) and all eligible College Teachers ( over 5 years=92 teaching ) were promoted to L1. I was told that these were the first promotions of teachers of apprentices under A.R. 5/82.

In the years following, I compiled and submitted a number of successful claims for College Teachers as they became eligible for promotion under A.R. 5/82.

Since 1990 there has been only one p.w.t.. College Teacher ( P.E. Teacher - national problem with their promotion ) left in I.T. Carlow.

Since 1982, I have been involved in the compilation and submission of successful claims under A.R. 5/82 for the promotion, to L2, of eligible pre 1979 L1s who were not successful in the once off L2 promotions on the introduction of A.R. 5/82.

Throughout the years, since 1979, I have fought for the rights of P.T. / E.P.T. / T.W.T. lecturers in a Court of Law, in negotiations and industrial action with Carlow R.T.C., at T.U.I. Congress, at C.A.C. meetings and at other forums.

In 1995, I researched, compiled and submitted a claim (over 60 pages) for unfair dismissal on behalf of a P.T. lecturer who was a member of our Branch. The claim was heard on the 4-10-95 by a Rights Commissioner who found in our member=92s favour and awarded him 6 months' salary against Carlow R.T.C. This case was reported in the local newspapers, national newspapers, T.U.I. News and Congress Annual Report 1996 (pages 42 and 78 ).

The following quote about the case was taken from the Annual Report:

"This is a very significant breakthrough for the Union as it is the first case that has been tested under the Regular Part-time Workers' Legislation and it was on that basis that the member had access to the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977 and 1993"

Over the years using both the E.P.T. Agreement and the T.W.T. Agreement, I have prepared claims for many non P.W.T. lecturers that have resulted in much increased job security and salaries for them.

How successfully our Branch has used the E.P.T. and T.W.T. agreements can be seen from our academic staff allocation which consists nearly entirely of P.W.T., T.W.T. and E.P.T. positions.

The continuous enforcing of our Branch Directive of a maximum of 30 students in a theory class also contributes to the job security and continuation of E.P.T. and T.W.T. contracts for non P.W.T. members.

I have worked in the colleges sector before and during, A.R. 14/79 and A.R. 5/82. Over the years I have had to interpret and implement both agreements to the best benefit of our members. I hope to do the same with any new agreement when the present P.C.W. negotiations are concluded and when the negotiated document is accepted by the majority of T.U.I. members concerned.

As Chairperson of the Branch I am very conscious of having to serve all of our Branch Members and serve them all equally well. I have outlined above some of my T.U.I. service to help you judge how effective an Area Rep. I might be on the basis of letting my record speak for itself.

If you elect me as your Area Rep for Area 15, I promise to serve equally well all members with the same energy, commitment and dedication I have displayed in the past.