Members of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) will today (4.15pm, Tuesday, 19th March) protest outside the offices of Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ETB (DDLETB) at Belgard Sq East, Tallaght over the decision to change the pay date of teachers from a bimonthly to a monthly one.
The change discriminates against those teachers who struggle to survive financially on substitute or casual hours.
Teachers employed by the majority of other ETBs (and those teachers in the Voluntary Secondary and Community and Comprehensive sectors) do not have to wait longer than 14 days to get paid for a day’s work.
Speaking today, TUI Assistant General Secretary Michael Gillespie said:
‘Teacher shortages across a range of subjects at second level have been well documented. For this reason, it is vitally important that every effort be made to keep the profession attractive.
The decision of DDLETB to change the pay date for teachers from a bimonthly to a monthly one makes the lives of those who do not enjoy full hours or secure contracts (many of them in the early stages of their careers) more difficult and will ultimately make the profession less attractive.
Substitute teachers or those on casual hours are the most vulnerable working in Irish schools. The hours they work in any given period can vary significantly, so it is of vital importance that a system where they do not have to wait longer than 14 days for payment is maintained in order that they can meet their most basic financial commitments such as paying rent or putting food on the table.
In some cases, teachers may have to wait up to seven weeks for payment for work carried out.
For example, a substitute teacher might not have worked many hours in January but might have worked a significant number of hours in the first two weeks of February. Instead of being paid halfway through February, they now have to wait until the end of that month to be paid the money that they need to make ends meet, despite having earned very little in January. This is completely unacceptable.
Similarly, a fortnightly system of pay gives those contracted for less than full hours more control over their limited finances.
The purpose of today’s protest is to draw attention to this situation and we urge DDLETB to engage with us to establish fortnightly payments, the same as exist for those employed by other ETBs or those employed directly by the Department of Education and Skills.’