News Education

Sunday 18 February 2018

School resources would have to be cut if teachers want equal pay for equal work, Minister

Education Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Tom Burke
Education Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

SCHOOL resources would have to be cut if teachers were to get equal pay, Education Minster Richard Bruton has said.

The minister repeatedly refused to say whether he believes in the principle of 'equal pay for equal work', arguing the situation is not that straight forward.

Teachers who started after 2011 are on a lower pay scale than older colleagues and stand to lose in the region of €100,000 over the course of their careers unless the system is changed.

The two junior ministers in the Department of Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor and John Halligan, recently said they believe all teachers should be paid the same.

However, Mr Bruton said: “To do that now completely would cost upwards of €250m across the public service.”

He said he must balance “the desire” of the unions with the need to invest in disadvantaged pupils, apprenticeship and reducing class sizes.

He said the original gap between new and old teachers has been 75pc closed and “we’re not in a position to go the rest of the way at this time”.

“The only way that could be done would be denying children resources in their schools.

“I have to balance that. That’s why this is a journey and we’re not yet there,” he said.

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