Sunday 18 March 2018

Primary teachers accept Lansdowne Road agreement on pay

Education Editor

PRIMARY school teachers have accepted the Lansdowne Road Agreement on restoring public sector pay.

The ballot of members  of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) resulted in a 65-35 vote in favour.

Last month, the INTO executive recommended an acceptance of the proposals to its 34,000 members in the Republic of Ireland  in order to begin to recover income that had been lost through pay cuts and the public service pension levy.

But teacher unions are divided on the agreement.  At second level, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) is recommending a “no” vote while the powerful 23-member Standing Committee of  the Association  of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI)  has urged its executive committee to recommended rejection when it considers the matter in August.

Under the agreement, the threshold for the pension levy will increase twice in 2016 resulting in a €1,000 earnings increase for most full time primary teachers. The agreement will also bring about a €1,000 increase in gross pay in 2017.

The deal also provides for the restoration on salary scales of a supervision and substitution payment for teachers,  abolished under the earlier Haddington Road agreement and the restoration of the pay to those earning more than €65,000.

INTO General Secretary Sheila Nunan said INTO members had  made a substantial contribution to Ireland’s recovery, and  with  the economy improving it was right that primary teachers begin to see their incomes restored.

She  said that  the payment of a flat rate increase which benefited lower paid teachers was an important part of the deal.

Mr Nunan  also said that, crucially,  the agreement provided a vehicle to pursue an outstanding salary award to primary principal teachers, made in 2008 but never paid to primary principals.

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