Date Uploaded: 14/04/2017
Most teachers who began their careers since pay cuts of up to 21% were introduced six years ago do not have full-time permanent jobs, research has found.
The finding that two-thirds of those who began teaching at second level since 2011 are in temporary or part-time positions highlights the financial difficulties facing those already on significantly lower incomes than their counterparts.
The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has suspended industrial action in pursuit of the restoration of equal pay for all members, regardless of when they began their careers. But the union says the findings of its survey show the problems they seek to redress through the campaign, which led to more than 500 second-level schools closing for two one-day strikes last autumn.
Ahead of its annual convention next week, where the equal pay campaign will be among the key issues on the delegates’ minds, ASTI president Ed Byrne said it is telling that nearly one-in-five of the 775 recently-qualified teachers who took part in its survey have to take second jobs.
The cohort of 5,183 ASTI members who have started teaching since 2011, when the first of the cuts to pay for new entrants was introduced, represent over a quarter of the union’s entire membership.
Mr Byrne asked what it says about the value placed on teaching and education in Ireland that many young teachers do not know if they have a job for the next school year.
“All of them are on lesser pay scales than their colleagues who began teaching just a few years before them. Almost half of those we surveyed said that holding on to their current teaching job is their main career aspiration for 2020,” he said.
“We must address the serious and significant factors which are undermining the attractiveness of teaching as a career before it is too late,” Mr Byrne said.
At next week’s convention, delegate will be asked to pass a motion that would see the union strongly oppose any national pay deal that does not guarantee equal pay for recently-qualified teachers.
The union balloted members in January on proposals to end their pay dispute and a separate industrial action of non co-operation with junior cycle reform. They narrowly defeated the deal, which would have seen ASTI members appointed since 2011 receive the partial pay restoration already given to members of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation and Teachers’ Union of Ireland.
Journalist: Niall Murray