Sunday 28 December 2014

Ruairi Quinn: Controversial pay cuts for young teachers to be reversed

The rowback now under discussion would also involve other new entrants to the public and civil service in 2011

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

Published 22/04/2014 | 12:01

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn

PAY cuts imposed on young teachers in 2011 are to be slowly restored.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn delivered the positive news to the annual conference of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) today.

Mr Quinn noted union concerns about multiple pay scales in teaching and said “I believe progress can be made on that in the near future”.

It is understood that officials from his department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DEPER) have already had discussions with union leaders about restoring some of the cuts made in recent years.

Up to 2,000 primary teachers on what is known as the 2011 pay scale, a cohort of graduates who started working between December 2010 and February 2012, will benefit. So too will new entrants to second-level teaching that year, but the numbers are difficult to quantify.

Because of the nature of the pay cuts imposed that year they were disproportionately affected.

The rowback now under discussion would also involve other new entrants to the public and civil service in 2011, although there was little recruitment that year, other than in education.

The teachers involved are at an immediate loss of about €2,000 a year and at the top of their 25-year scale they would be short about €4,000-€5,000 if the cuts were not restored.

Final agreement on delivering a phased uplift in the salaries of those affected is expected within weeks.

There are now three pay scales in teaching, arising from the cuts imposed in recent years, known as the 2010 scale, the 2011 scale and the 2012 scale.

The current talks are aimed at reducing it to two pay scales but adjustments to merge the 2011 and 2010 will be very gradual.

INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan told the conference that it was “an absolute sore to have colleagues working alongside other colleagues for different pay rates”.

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