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.’