Teachers unions back motions for industrial action over pay

All three teacher unions have overwhelmingly backed a joint motion that increases the chances of industrial action ifissues around pay inequality are not resolved by early May.

The Teachers Union of Ireland has unanimously backed thejoint motion, whichwas also passed overwhelmingly by the TUI's sister unions - the INTO and the ASTI.

Teachers appointed after 2011 on lower pay and conditions who addressed the motion received a standing ovation from the 500 delegates attending the conference in Wexford.

Proposing the motion, TUI President Joanne Irwin said €83 million to restore pay equality for teachers was a mere drop in the ocean compared to the billions lavished on Irish Water in recent years.

She said it was about priorities and political choices, and urged the Government to end the lower VAT rate for the hospitality sector, and to tackle bogus self-employment that costs the state so much in tax revenue.

She said the cuts imposed on teachers were unwarranted, unfair and untenable.

Seconding the motionTom Dixon of the Kildare branch, who started teaching in 2014, said pay inequality had already cost him €30,000.

He told delegates that he was one of the lucky ones who got sufficient hours to count as two thirds of a job - but still had to get odd jobs outside the classroom to make ends meet.

He said that when he borrowed €5,000 for a car loan, he was forced to pay it back in just one year because he did not have a permanent job.

He said that if they had to strike to achieve pay equality, "so be it".

Stephanie Hassett of the Tipperary South branch said she had qualified in 2010 and no longer felt that she was a new entrant.

She outlined working on what she called a patchwork of contracts - and described younger teachers forced to postpone moving out of home or having families.

David Waters of Dublin-Dun laoghaire branch said that he believed he would earn on average €5,000 less than older colleagues, and over a career would lose €100,000.

Sarah Doyle of Kilkenny branch said that after four years, on average she takes home just under €2,050 a month - but calculated that someone recruited before 2011 would be taking home €2,650 - around €600 per month more.

She said that while she was lucky to have a contract of indefinite duration with full hours, she was still living at home as the eldest of six children, and was wondering how she could get the independence she craved.

She told delegates that last year 29% of newly qualified teachers surveyed said they did not see themselves as being in the teaching profession in ten years time - but that figure has now risen to 46%.

Earlier the TUI president called for equal pay to be restored for teachers recruited since 2011.

Addressing the TUI conference in Wexford, Ms Irwin acknowledged that there had been improvements in pay over the last year - including an additional €796 to each point on the salary scale since 1 September 2017.

She also noted the 1% increase in all core salary scales from 1 January 2018, the incorporation of the honours primary degree allowance for those recruited since 2011, and the completion of the restoration of Haddington Road Agreement cuts for those earning over €65,000 - also with effect from the beginning of this year.

However, she told delegates that the union's job was not yet done as the "insult" of pay inequality and discrimination remained, which was morally wrong, patently counter-productive, regressive and damaging to the education system.

She said it appeared that the Government would only be brought "kicking and screaming" to its senses.

She said that he TUI would much prefer that they would be persuaded by the demands of justice - but that if that did not happen, "we have other means to persuade them".

During the economic crisis, the Government cut the pay scales for new entrants cross the public sector recruited after 1 January 2011.

This hit teachers particularly hard, as many also saw allowances for things like additional qualifications reduced or abolished.

Seven years on from those cuts, almost 25% of all teachers are now on lower pay than their pre-2011 counterparts.

Ms Irwin told delegates that the motion on equal pay to be debated simultaneously by all three teacher unions would show a unity of purpose, a shared focus and a determination to bring what she called "this dispiriting and unseemly chapter" to a close.

She reminded delegates that the TUI had highlighted and prioritised the issue of equal pay at every point during pay negotiations, contrary to what the Minister for Education Richard Bruton had suggested last week.

However, she conceded that despite their best efforts, those talks had failed to address the discriminatory pay rates imposed on colleagues recruited since 1January 2011.

She noted that TUI members had rejected the Public Service Stability pay agreement by 87% - as did the two other teaching unions.

She described the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act which gave effect to partial pay restoration under the PSSA as a "witch's brew" - which while providing for pay restoration also set out to force compliance with the pay deal through "punitive" measures including the threat of a three year pay freeze.

However, she warned that those measures included in the act would fail to gag the union.

Ms Irwin's speech also included a pledge to oppose precarious employment, and addressed issues including opposition to peer evaluation, protection of professional time, posts of responsibility, contracts of indefinite duration, the creation of technological universities, and the re-designation of so-called "flex" hours.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in september
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

See our privacy notice Changes to the road layout where a tragic Dublin cyclist was killed could save the lives of others, an inquest has heard. The jury at the inquest into the death of Daragh Ryan (30) recommended the provision of safety measures where he died after attempting to enter the Phoenix Park on his bicycle. The accident happened on Conyngham Road as the young man tried to cross the road to enter the Phoenix Park through the Islandbridge Gate o...
Deliveroo are looking for more bike riders to spin around the capital bringing takeaway food to hungry customers. The jobs boost comes as the UK-based food delivery service announces massive growth across Dublin in the past year, a trend they're tipping to continue for the next 12 months and beyond. They say that their riders earn over €10 per hour on average - and any current Deliveroo cyclist to refers another Dublin-based rider to them will be paid a fi...
Drugs Minister Catherine Byrne has admitted that crack cocaine use is on the rise and said communities "are living in fear due to the violence associated with the illegal drugs market". The minister is seeking a meeting with members of Setanta GAA club in Ballymun , who last week told how a crack epidemic is threatening an entire generation of young people in the area. She said yesterday: "I know from the feedback received, in particular from community-bas...
Responding to criticism last week Commissioner Drew Harris said the force must work within the cash available. Garda overtime cuts are now affecting vital armed cover and an operation targeting gangland gun crime. Units in Dublin and checkpoints as part of the anti- Kinahan /Hutch Operation Hybrid have been hit. A source said: “Everyone accepts the Budget overspend but these are critical operations and it is going to have a knock- on impact. “The concern i...
They were at risk of sinking in high seas. A group of divers were rescued yesterday afternoon after their boats developed mechanical problems and started filling with water. The team, from Viking Sub Aqua Club in Dublin, were at risk of sinking in high seas when they were rescued by a passenger ferry off the coast of Co Antrim. The Rathlin Express diverted after a distress call from one of the boats at about 2pm. Lifeboats were also launched from Red Bay a...
Journalist Gemma O'Doherty has been formally endorsed by Laois County Council to contest the Presidential Election. It is Ms Doherty’s first endorsement and she requires a further three endorsements from local authorities to secure a nomination to run for the presidency next month. She was proposed by IndependentBen Brennan and seconded by Sinn Féin's Aidan Mullins. Ms O’Doherty received four votes, including one vote from a Fianna Fáil councillor. There w...
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is due to deliver an address at the United Nations in New York later today. Mr Varadkar will speak at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the UN, which Ireland worked in partnership with South Africa to organise. In his address, Mr Varadkar is expected to reference the Northern Ireland peace process and highlight the fact that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Today's summit is part of the United Natio...
A Dublin punter is thousands of euro richer after a savvy €1 bet. The Lotto bettor placed a €1 bet on their four lucky numbers in the Lotto draw - and walked away €7,501 richer. They made the bet on Saturday's Lotto draw on numbers 8, 15, 30 and 35 and managed to beat 7,500/1 odds. Aoife Heffron from BoyleSports said: “What a way to spend €1 by backing your lucky numbers and being rewarded with a fantastic €7,501 windfall. "We love to see our customers win...
Gardaí have begun door-to-door inquiries on Valentia Island as part of a serious crime review into the investigation of the 1984 Kerry Babies case. The body of a newborn baby, subsequently named John, was washed up on White Strand in Cahersiveen on 14 April 1984. The baby had been stabbed several times and the mystery surrounding the baby's death has never been resolved. The discovery of the baby's body, the subsequent discover of the body of a second baby...