The Executive Committee of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) this evening unanimously decided to recommend rejection of the new public service agreement proposals, Building Momentum – A New Public Service Agreement 2021-2022.
The union acknowledges and welcomes the fact that these proposals provide for general pay increases, the first for public servants in over ten years. In taking this decision, TUI also recognises the severe financial difficulties caused by the pandemic to so many working people at present.
However, ten years on from the imposition of cuts to 'new entrant' pay, the Union could not recommend acceptance of proposals that would continue to see our colleagues paid lesser rates of pay for carrying out identical work.
The union once again highlighted the recruitment and retention crisis that exists in second level schools as a result of pay inequality.
Over 19,000 TUI members will be balloted on the proposals in the new year.
‘We are just weeks away from the tenth anniversary of the unilateral imposition of cuts to ‘new entrant’ pay, but despite progress, its corrosive effects continue to damage the education system,’ TUI President Martin Marjoram said.
‘Regrettably, the limited measures contained in this proposed agreement will not end the ongoing scandal of pay discrimination for second level teachers employed on or after 1st January 2011 and the proposed agreement does not address it at all for the other recruitment grades in which TUI represents members.’
‘There has been a teacher recruitment and retention crisis at second level for many years now as a result of pay discrimination, with a survey carried out in over 130 second level schools earlier this year showing that over the previous twelve months, 97% of schools had experienced teacher recruitment difficulties while 77% had advertised positions to which nobody applied.’
‘As recently as February of this year, TUI’s 19,000 members, including those not personally affected by pay inequality, took strike action over the continuing injustice.’
‘There is no doubt that teacher recruitment and retention problems inflict severe damage on the education system, with students often missing out on subject choices or being taught by ‘out-of-field’ teachers.’
‘Even with this proposed agreement, the largest pay discrimination would still occur in the early years of employment. New entrants to second level teaching would still earn €6,500 or 15% less upon appointment than someone who entered the profession prior to 2011. The loss in career earnings would still be over €80,000.’
‘It is important to note that many new entrants to teaching do not secure a contract of full hours upon initial appointment, earning just a fraction of the whole-time salary. Many are voting with their feet and leaving the profession.’
‘While the proposals provide a limited improvement for second level teachers appointed after 1st January 2011, they do nothing to redress the ongoing pay discrimination in other ‘new entrant’ grades represented by TUI including Assistant Lecturer, Youthreach Resource Person, BTEI Adult Educator, Adult Guidance Counsellor/Co-ordinator, Adult Literacy Organiser and Community Education Facilitator.’
‘The union’s members will be balloted on the proposed agreement in the new year, and the Executive Committee will be strongly advocating that they reject it.’