'Just pay us a fair wage' - teacher who needs second job to support himself
CIAN O’Grady has urged Education Minister Richard Bruton to realise that teachers are the primary asset of the Irish education sector and should be paid fairly.
The teacher from Galway revealed that his weekly pay is so low he has to work a second job just to support himself. “I qualified in 2014 and my first job had me working just 3.33 hours a week,” he told Independent.ie.
“My net pay was €20.”
Mr O’Grady then saw his hours increased to 14 a week at a Galway secondary school where he teaches Spanish and geography.
“My net pay is now €240, but my rent is €1,060 so I have to work a second job just to support myself.”
The 38-year-old said he is still hoping to secure a permanent teaching job on full hours.
“Having seen how the system works, I’m afraid I could be waiting up to five years for that.”
Mr O’Grady, who worked in Spain for a time, stressed that his love of teaching is what keeps him going – even when his second job requires him to work almost seven days a week.
He said it is understandable that there is a temptation to accept lucrative teaching contracts in Europe or the Middle East – something that many other frustrated young teachers opt for after failing to secure proper working hours here.
“I want to work here – I want to teach here in Ireland. That’s what every young Irish teacher wants.”
Mr O’Grady admitted at the ASTI conference he had a simple message for Minister Bruton.
“You have to value education and teachers are your primary asset.
“Please, just pay us a fair wage,” he said.
“That is what makes all the difference, not just for young teachers who feel valued but for morale in the staff room and even for students.”
Mr O’Grady said it was very disheartening to see what many young teachers have to endure just to try to get a foot on the ladder within the education sector.