The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has once again outlined the damage that pay discrimination is inflicting on the education system and reiterated its commitment to securing full pay equality. The union has said that, wherever possible, it will seek to pursue this goal with its colleagues in the other teacher unions.
Speaking today, TUI President Seamus Lahart said:
‘The TUI notes the position of the other teacher unions in national ballots on the measure on ‘new entrant’ salary scales.
TUI members accepted the measure on the basis that it represents further movement in the campaign to completely eliminate pay discrimination. As stated during the ballot process, we will continue to move forward until we reach our final destination of full pay equality.
In this regard, it is important to note that TUI has a mandate for industrial action on this issue.
Ideally and insofar as is possible, TUI will pursue the objective of ending pay discrimination in a joint campaign with our colleagues in ASTI and INTO.
Even when the new measure is implemented, the crisis of teacher recruitment and retention will remain and almost certainly worsen in the coming years as the most significant difference in salaries is in the initial years of employment. With better employment options available elsewhere, schools will continue to struggle - and fail - to recruit and retain suitably qualified teachers across a range of subjects.
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. This coincided with withdrawal of the HDip allowance and abolition of incremental recognition for the period of per-service, unpaid training.
As we have stated on numerous occasions, 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.’
What remains to be achieved?
- Restoration of the HDip/PME allowance (formerly payable to holders of the Professional Master of Education (PME) qualification
- Restoration of commencement on point 3 of scale in recognition of six-year (primary degree and PME) training period
- Elimination of the remaining differences in the early points of scale