Equal Pay for Equal Work - the campaign continues

Click here to download a poster outling the progress made so far in TUI's campaign for pay parity and job security (November 2016)

 

Major progress towards pay equality for teachers

Measures announced on 16th September 2016 represent a very significant step in the right direction in addressing the pay inequality suffered by teachers recruited since 1 February 2012. The TUI will continue its campaign until full pay equality is achieved.

The implementation of the revised salary arrangement will be in two phases on 1 January 2017 and 1 January 2018. The effect of this will be to assimilate all post-1 January 2011 and post-1 February 2012 new entrants to teaching onto a single new salary scale which will incorporate the honours primary degree allowance.

When this restoration and other increases payable under the Lansdowne Road Agreement are factored in, there will be a 15% increase in the starting salary of teachers between 31st August 2016 and 1st January 2018 (€31,009 to €35,602).

The breakthrough follows other recent gains secured by the TUI to address the related issues of precarious and low-hour contracts:

  • TUI negotiated a reduction in the qualification period for permanency for teachers to two years, a significant advance on the national, statutory standard of four years.
     
  • As a result of a gain secured by TUI in recent weeks, according to a mandatory schedule, any newly available hours must be offered to teachers on part-time hours in the first instance. This is significant, as in second level schools, TUI estimates that half of teachers under 35 are on contracts of less than full hours.

Following a ballot of members earlier this year, TUI already holds a mandate for industrial action on the issue of pay equality. We have used this mandate to secure these advances through talks and the mandate remains should it be required.

Click here to download a TUI Q&A document on this breakthrough in the campaign towards pay parity

Document 1  - New entrant pay issue and related commitments (Note: The scales in this document do not include other salary increases due under the Lansdowne Road Agreement - €796 (second half of S&S payment) will be added to all points of scale on 1st September 2017, as will an additional increase of €1,000 to each point on the scale on the same date.)

Document 2 - Salary scales calculated by TUI Head Office incorporating changes to salary under new entrant breakthrough (announced 16th September) and other increases due under Lansdowne Road Agreement. 

 

Earlier articles

Update, September 2016: Representatives of the TUI and the INTO have, over recent months, had a series of meetings with officials from both DPER and the DES. There has been a particular focus on the principle of restoring the value of a qualifications allowance to the common basic scale for teachers. Significant progress has been made in the discussions which have included consideration of the options in relation to the assimilation of allowances into the scale.

What is now needed is a clear timescale for implementation. Further delay in this respect is both unfair and unnecessary.

TUI members in the second level and further/adult education sectors voted, in January 2016, by a margin of 89% to 11%, to engage in a campaign of industrial action, up to and including strike action, to secure a resolution to key issues - the most critical being the income poverty of new and recent entrants to the profession. Should definitive progress towards restoration of the value of allowances be further delayed, the union will activate its existing mandate.

Earlier article:

The TUI Executive Committee and TUI Annual Congress has prioritised securing the pre-2011 rate of pay for all teachers as the key objective of the union.

The negotiated agreement with the Department of Education and Skills (DES), which TUI members accepted in a national ballot in May 2016, does not resolve the issue, but provides a clear way forward and a mechanism to resolve it.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has acknowledged TUI’s leading role in highlighting the injustice of pay inequality and has committed to prioritising this issue for resolution within the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA), which TUI members will be covered by (from July 1st) as a result of the decision taken in May’s national ballot. In this regard, the recent decision to restore the value of their allowance to Firefighters, within the LRA, is a very important precedent that we can exploit.

This key issue was forcefully addressed by TUI in the negotiations that led to the proposed agreement. In these negotiations, the DES and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), while acknowledging the significance of the issue, did not have the authority to deal with the matter in the context of the bi-lateral talks with the TUI and advised that an appropriate, alternative forum would be required.

The Union noted and the DES/DPER acknowledged

  • the recent decision in principle to restore to Firefighters the value of an allowance that had been paid prior to 2012 (by consolidating it into their scale)
     
  • that this decision has significant implications and clear precedent value for the other grades – including teachers - affected by the unilateral abolition, by Government, of allowances for post-February 2012 entrants.

Now that the DES/TUI (May 2016) agreement has been accepted, TUI will, in co-operation with other unions, move to secure pay parity.

Two advances are required. First of all, those who entered the profession post-February 2012 must have the value of the allowances added to their salary. Then all those who entered from 2011 must have the pre-2011 rate of pay applied to them.


Advances secured for new and recent entrants to the profession

Progress on CIDs

In addition to discriminatory pay scales, the twin scourges of low hours and/or insecure contracts have prevented new and recently qualified teachers from earning a living wage. 

As a result of the Ward Report, which followed vigorous campaigning by TUI and ASTI, second-level teachers become eligible for permanency after just two years’ continuous teaching in a school (effective from September 2015). This represents a considerable advance on the legislative entitlement where eligibility arises after four years of fixed term contracts.

The recently published Cush Report secures similar gains for members in Institutes of Technology.

Acceptance by TUI members of the proposed agreement with the Department of Education and Skills in May means that as the union will continue to be covered by a collective agreement (from July 1st 2016, the LRA). These additional gains under Ward and Cush – which allow for considerable advance on what is set out in legislation - will apply to TUI members in this context.     

Partial reversal of pay cuts

The reduced pay for new entrants to the profession was unilaterally imposed by Government in 2012. From the off, TUI condemned and opposed the so-called new entrants’ scale as unacceptable, discriminatory and corrosively destructive of collegiality.

The union has availed of every possible opportunity to highlight the rank unfairness of the current situation whereby colleagues doing the same work in the same school are treated differently in terms of pay. In every negotiation, the TUI and our sister teacher unions have sought to have the discriminatory, new entrants’ scale removed. We have made some progress. The Haddington Road Agreement provided for some adjustment to the scale. This was important in practical and symbolic terms. It commenced the process of restoration and, as importantly, demonstrated that the scale can be overturned and that restoration can be achieved.

As set out above, the Firefighter precedent is now of huge significance. The campaign will continue until the objective of pay equality is achieved.

Are you interested in helping our campaign?
TUI has used every available opportunity in the media to highlight the scandal of unequal pay and casualisation. Wherever possible, we try to provide case studies of teachers affected who feel strongly about pay discrimination. If you would be interested in taking part in arising media interviews on the issue by telling your story, please contact cgriffin@tui.ie

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  • Email: tui@tui.ie

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