Half of teachers in job for less than 10 years
MORE than half of the country's 30,000 primary teachers have been teaching for less than 10 years, new figures reveal.
They also show that 8,651 have been teaching for five years at most, while a further 7,846 have only between six and 10 years' experience.
Just 218 teachers have more than 40 years' experience, with a further 1,359 having between 35 and 40 years' service.
The figures also reveal 2,841 have 31-35 years' service; 3,177 have 26-30 years; 2,894 have 21-25 years; 2,254 have 16-20 years and 3,043 have between 11 and 15 years' service.
The figures were revealed in reply to a Dail question tabled by Fine Gael education spokesman Brian Hayes.
He said that most of these teachers were under 40 years of age and were caught up with negative equity and large mortgage repayments.
Mr Hayes said this could explain much of the militancy at primary level witnessed at the teacher conferences last week.
He said the figures also rejected the notion that primary teaching was dominated by older members of the profession.
The INTO said the significant numbers of younger teachers could be accounted for by increased recruitment to special needs posts in recent years.
The union also said retirement figures were higher than usual, reflecting increased recruitment in the 1960s. A further reason put forward by the INTO was the replacement of untrained persons in classrooms.
A spokesperson said that a decade ago more than 1,600 untrained persons were teaching regularly in primary schools.
Meanwhile, the INTO executive will meet today to decide the timing and format of its ballot of members on the pay deal.
The executive received some criticism last week for its backing of the deal.
Last Tuesday the union's annual congress defeated by four votes a motion recommending a 'No' vote.
The Irish Independent understands that questions were raised the following day about whether or not all the votes had been counted, but it was impossible at that stage to find out if every vote had been counted accurately.
The executive of the TUI and the ASTI Standing Committee also have to meet to decide the timing format of their respective ballots. Both have recommended a 'No' vote.
The ballots are expected to take several weeks to complete.
Meanwhile, the executive of the Irish Federation of University Teachers meets tomorrow to decide its attitude towards the pay deal.
The union has 2,100 members and there is concern over the proposed revision of the contract and the effect this would have on security of tenure among academics.