TUI expresses serious concern at slow pace of current engagement on pay inequality

By piofficer, Friday, 24th August 2018 | 0 comments

The Executive Committee of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) today expressed serious concern at the slow pace of the current engagement on the pay inequality suffered by those who entered the profession since 1st January 2011. The union is demanding urgent action on the issue.

From the outset, TUI has insisted that full pay equality, including, in the case of teachers, the reinstatement of the HDip/PME allowance, must be achieved.

TUI already has a strong mandate for industrial action on this issue, up to and including strike action. If activation of this mandate is required, every effort will be made to co-ordinate any such industrial action with our sister unions.

Speaking today, TUI President Seamus Lahart said:

‘It is an absolute disgrace that almost eight years on, colleagues are still paid at different rates for carrying out the same work. From a TUI perspective, this injustice to some is an offence to all members. A determination to bring this injustice to an end unites, rather than divides, us. 

The current system of pay discrimination is putting the high quality of our education service at serious risk. A March 2018 TUI survey of post-2011 entrants found that 46% do not believe that they will still be in the profession in ten years’ time. If pay equality was restored, 94% said that they would remain. Strikingly, 52% said that they would not advise a younger relative to pursue the profession of teaching.

Other figures also make crystal clear the damage that has been done to date. There has been a fall of over 50% in the numbers applying for places on the PME postgraduate teacher education courses between 2011 and 2018 - from 2,821 to 1,366. There has also been a fivefold rise in the emigration rate of teaching graduates.

Unsurprisingly, this embedded inequality has also led to widespread difficulties in the recruitment and retention of teachers, which inevitably impairs the quality of service to students in terms of subject choice and consistency of provision. Recruitment problems are evident both across the country and across a broad range of subjects including, but not limited to, Modern Languages, Mathematics, Science, Irish, Home Economics and the technologies. 

At third level, some Institutes of Technology have reported difficulties in recruiting staff at Assistant Lecturer entry grade. In a number of cases, advertisements in key disciplines have not attracted any applications and the posts have had to be re-advertised.’

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