Proposal regarding new entrant pay - information for members

By piofficer, Thursday, 25th October 2018 | 0 comments

Update - 25th October 2018

Members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) have voted to accept a proposal on ‘new entrant’ salary scale issues by a margin of 53% to 47% in the context of the union’s ongoing campaign.

The union has warned that, of itself, this measure does not deliver pay equality. The union has also said that it will have little impact on the deepening crisis of recruitment and retention.

The union’s campaign will continue until this pay equality is achieved.

Speaking this evening, TUI President Seamus Lahart said:

‘Members have decided in a national ballot that this proposal represents another step in the campaign for pay equality. The measure will allow new and recent entrants to progress up the scale quicker.

However, it does not secure pay equality. There is no such thing as partial pay equality and the continuing injustice of discrimination against new and recent entrants to teaching remains to be comprehensively addressed.

Because the discrimination is most significant in the initial years of employment as a teacher, the crisis of teacher recruitment and retention will remain and almost certainly worsen in the coming years. With better employment options available elsewhere, graduates will vote with their feet and schools will continue to struggle -  and fail -  to recruit and retain suitably qualified teachers across a range of subjects.

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?

  • Elimination of the remaining differences in the early points of scale
  • 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

‘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 catastrophic drop coincided with withdrawal of the HDip allowance and abolition of incremental recognition for the period of per-service, unpaid training.

Another causal factor in the crisis is that most new entrants to teaching are offered part-time work. Very few earn a full salary from initial appointment. They struggle to get by and many decide to leave teaching.’


On Monday, 24th September, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) presented proposals regarding new entrant salary scales, which the Executive Committee decided to issue without recoomendation.

The current national ballot has implications for all TUI members, regardless of grade or career stage. Make sure inform yourself on the key issues and make sure to vote.

Return ballot papers to the auditors in the envelopes provided by 5pm, Thursday, 25th October

Click here for full details of the proposal

Click here for TUI's initial statement

Click here for worked examples of the effects of the proposals

Click here for a TUI News special which issued in hard copy in the week beginning 8th October

At its meeting on Wednesday, 26th September, the Executive Committee of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) decided to put the proposal on new entrant pay to a ballot of members without recommendation.

The Executive Committee decided that members should be provided with comprehensive information on all aspects of the proposal so that they can make a considered decision on its acceptability or otherwise.

The Union reiterated its position that the measures do not deliver pay equality and will not tackle the recruitment and retention crisis currently afflicting second level schools.

Details of the timing of the ballot will be confirmed in the coming days. The Union stated that irrespective of the ballot outcome, its campaign will continue until pay equality has been delivered.

Speaking after the meeting, TUI President Seamus Lahart said:

‘The Executive Committee has decided that given the significant implications of either acceptance or rejection of the proposal, members will be provided with comprehensive information on all aspects of the proposal so that they can make a considered decision. The Executive Committee noted that the proposal has varying implications, depending on career stage.

While the measure represents further movement, it won’t deliver pay equality.

As the most significant difference in scales will still be in the initial career stage, the crisis of teacher recruitment and retention in schools across the country will continue. As a result of this, schools will struggle, and in many cases fail, to recruit and retain suitably qualified teachers across a range of subjects.

It is deeply regrettable that this process did not address the non-payment of the HDip allowance to those who entered teaching since February 2012. This is despite the fact that the duration of the Postgraduate Master in Education (PME) has doubled to two years, leading to significant extra cost – and significant debt – for new teachers. In addition, post- January 2011 entrants lost the entitlement to start on the third point of scale in recognition of the unpaid training period which now runs to six years.

Irrespective of the choice members make in the ballot, pay equality will remain the union’s main priority until it is secured.’

Protect Your Career

Join TUI today