Press Releases

Survey findings highlight continuing damage of pay discrimination and need for supports for students who struggled with remote learning 

By piofficer 05 Apr 2021 | 0 comments
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.’ 

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Provision for pregnant teachers to work remotely should be continued – TUI 

By piofficer 30 Mar 2021 | 0 comments
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has called for the provision that has allowed pregnant teachers to work remotely to be continued after the Easter break. Throughout the phased re-opening this year, which has to date seen significantly smaller numbers of students in school buildings than will be the case after Easter, pregnant teachers have been allowed to work remotely.   The Department of Education has not yet clarified if this will remain the case after the Easter break and the union has been contacted by numerous pregnant teachers who have expressed serious concerns and anxieties about returning to their schools.  TUI is also seeking clarification on the arrangements for the high-risk and over-60 teachers who have been allowed to teach remotely during the phased re-opening. 

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Ongoing review of public health situation required in phased reopening of schools

By piofficer 23 Feb 2021 | 0 comments
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) today confirmed its consistent position that its members are prepared to facilitate a phased and cautious return of students to schools, subject to the advice and continuing review of the situation by public health authorities. Final year Leaving Certificate students are due to return to schools from 1st March as announced by the Government this evening.      

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‘Leaving Certificate still remains fairest option for 2021’ -  TUI 

By piofficer 01 Feb 2021 | 0 comments
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has reiterated its support for holding the 2021 Leaving Certificate examinations, including second components such as orals, practicals and projects.   The union does not believe that a system of calculated grades or similar will reduce stress and anxiety in the school community and has expressed concerns about the lack of data on which teachers’ estimated marks could be based compared to last year’s process.   In addition, the union has said it has significant concerns about the feasibility of offering students a choice between calculated grades and a written examination. Clearly, teaching and preparing a class split into those seeking a calculated grade and those preparing to do a Leaving Certificate examination would be extremely challenging in the time remaining.    TUI has also stated that external moderation in any system is essential in ensuring consistency and public trust.   Speaking today, TUI President Martin Marjoram said:   ‘We fully acknowledge the high levels of stress and anxiety in school communities, especially among those students who are due to take the state examinations this year.   

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TUI Executive Committee decides that members would not be attending workplaces from Monday - Union welcomes belated decision by Government to do the right thing

By piofficer 07 Jan 2021 | 0 comments
At an Executive Committee meeting this evening, it was decided that Teachers’ Union of Ireland members will not be attending their workplaces for in-school teaching next Monday, 11th January, or on subsequent days but will be available to provide emergency remote teaching and to support their students including, in particular, students with special educational needs. Therefore, the TUI welcomes the decision now taken, somewhat belatedly, by Government to finally do the right thing.

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Guidance on apprenticeship education urgently required - TUI

By piofficer 05 Jan 2021 | 0 comments
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has criticised the failure of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) to provide central guidance and direction on the provision of apprenticeship education in ETBs and in Institutes of Technology, Technological University Dublin and Munster Technological University.   The Union, which represents 20,000 members in Post Primary, Further/Adult Education and Higher Education settings, has called for the Department to immediately issue direction that physical classes be delayed and temporary online lessons be prioritised in the current climate.   Speaking today, TUI President Martin Marjoram said:   ‘Over the last number of days, we have repeatedly sought direction from DFHERIS on the status of apprenticeship education in the current climate. Apprentices have travelled from all parts of the country to participate in apprenticeship training in colleges and training centres. Regrettably, no guidelines have been issued in relation to this and it is being left in the hands of individual institutions and ETBs to decide on their approach.  This failure to provide guidance is grossly irresponsible in the context of the frightening increase in the numbers of COVID-19 cases. Our members have expressed huge levels of concern and anxiety about this situation and the ongoing silence from the Department to our repeated requests is completely unacceptable and poses a potential risk to public health.   Given the alarming national picture in terms of the pandemic, we believe it would be entirely reasonable that physical classes be temporarily delayed and where possible be replaced with online lessons instead until it is safe to return to face-to-face contact on campus.   However, with interaction on-campus scheduled for this week, this direction must issue immediately in the interests of the health and safety of students, academic staff and the wider community.   Once again, we are demanding that Minister Harris and his Department appropriately represent the sector that they are tasked with overseeing and immediately provide this guidance.’    

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Strong maths and science showing a tribute to Irish students and teachers    

By piofficer 08 Dec 2020 | 0 comments
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has described Ireland’s strong showing in the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) as a tribute to the commitment and dedication of Irish students and teachers.       The union highlighted that Irish school communities are operating at a considerable disadvantage compared to many international counterparts due to unacceptably low investment levels at second level.      

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