The findings of a new survey of over 1,000 Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) members highlight the continuing negative effects of pay discrimination on the profession. The survey findings also make clear that teachers believe additional supports will be needed next year to assist those students who may have struggled with the move to emergency remote teaching.
Concerns around a growing drift towards bureaucracy in schools that deflects from teaching and learning are also expressed.
The survey of 1,036 TUI members at second level and in the further education and training sectors was carried out in March. The Union’s Annual Congress takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Comments from TUI President Martin Marjoram:
Pay discrimination issues
‘Of those respondents employed from 2011 onwards, 42% believe as it stands now that they will still be in the profession in ten years’ time, while 29% do not believe they will be in the profession at that point. 29% said that they didn’t know.
However, if pay discrimination was to be fully resolved, 74% believe they will still be in the profession in ten years’ time, while 8% do not believe that they will be. 18% said that they didn’t know.
This shows the continuing corrosive effect that pay inequality, which sees those employed after 2011 earning less than their colleagues, is having on the perception of the profession, which is also borne out by an 8% drop in applications for second level teacher training courses through the CAO this year. Progress has been made but even with recent gains there is still an €80,000 loss in career earnings, with the largest differences in salary in the early years of employment. It has led to a teacher recruitment and retention crisis at second level that is making it increasingly difficult for schools to fill teaching vacancies.’
Majority still don’t receive a contract of full hours upon appointment
‘Just 29% of those employed after 2011 received a contract of full hours upon initial appointment. This means that for a number of years, teachers only earn a fraction of a full salary.’
Student engagement with emergency remote learning
‘Regrettably, educational disadvantage is nothing new, but a situation where it becomes worsened by the pandemic cannot be allowed.
Of great concern to teachers is that 93% noticed disengagement by some of their students as a result of the move to emergency remote teaching and learning. 76% believe that emergency remote learning had a disproportionately negative effect on students from disadvantaged backgrounds, while 86% believe that additional supports are needed for 2021/22 to assist those students who may have lost out most as a result of the move to emergency remote teaching and learning.
75% said that student engagement with emergency remote learning was better in 2021 than in 2020. Just 8% said that engagement was better in 2020 than in 2021, while the remainder thought it was more or less the same.
89% said that preparation, provision and associated work involved in providing classes remotely took much more time (64%) or more time (25%) than face-to-face delivery.’