Thursday 29 September 2016

Young teachers in ASTI €6,000 a year worse off after pay deal

Published 17/09/2016 | 02:30

Thousands of young teachers in the ASTI will be €6,000 a year worse off if the union continues its war with Government.

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They are already on €796 a year less and, by January, the gap will rise to almost €1,800, and continue widening over 15 months.

By January 2018, the pay differential between young teachers will have grown to 20pc - depending on the union they are in.

An agreement announced yesterday gives newly-qualified teachers an increase of up to €2,000 a year, on top of pay restoration measures in the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA), which are being rolled out from this month.

But, only members of teacher unions that have signed up to the LRA - currently, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) and the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) - will receive the increases.

The 18,0000-member Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has rejected the LRA, and as a result is also excluded from the new deal, which eliminates a key contributor to two-tier pay scales.

A teacher recruited this month, who is a member of the ASTI, is on a starting salary of €31,009, which remains frozen while they are outside the LRA.

Meanwhile, INTO and TUI members are on €31,805 - including restoration this month of €796, half an allowance for supervision and substitution duties - which will rise to €37,059 by January 2018,

There are corresponding increases for all new teachers recruited since 2012 - who suffered the most severe pay cuts - who are members of unions that have signed up to the LRA.

There is still an outstanding issue on pay equality for teachers and other pubic servants recruited in recent years, which is the general 10pc cut in pay scales implemented in 2011.

INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said yesterday's deal represented "significant progress" and that "for the first time, teachers who began since 2012 will have the same earnings path as all other teachers and will reach the same maximum point of salary scale."

TUI president Joanne Irwin said it was a very significant step in the right direction in addressing the pay inequality suffered by teachers.

But the ASTI remains determined to continue its campaign on a number of pay-related fronts, which could close more than half the country's second-level schools by end of October/early November.

The ASTI is conducting two ballots later this month, one seeking a mandate for strike action on the issue of pay for newly-qualified teachers.

The second ballot is seeking support for withdrawal from supervision and substitution duties, which would force schools to close because of lack of cover.

Powerful

The union's powerful Standing Committee met yesterday and, in a statement afterwards, the ASTI said it was "campaigning for the full restoration of new teachers' pay."

The ASTI said that it was not party to the LRA and had received no offer on the restoration of new teachers' pay.

"We will continue to pursue a resolution through talks. We want equal pay for equal work. ASTI members have rejected the LRA for a number of reasons, including its failure to deliver pay equalisation for new teachers," said ASTI president Ed Byrne.

Irish Independent

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