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Thursday 16 August 2018

Teachers 'not going away' in pay equality fight

Hundreds of teachers kept up the pressure in a protest outside the Dáil yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Hundreds of teachers kept up the pressure in a protest outside the Dáil yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Teachers have warned they will not give up the battle for an end to two-tier pay scales in the profession until equality is restored.

Hundreds of teachers kept up the pressure in a protest outside the Dáil yesterday, ahead of the publication of a report to Government on the cost of full pay restoration across the public service, roughly estimated at about €209m a year. At least 15,000 teachers recruited since 2011 are on lower pay scales as a result of austerity-era cuts.

Pay restoration measures have seen about 75pc of the original cuts returned to wage packets.

But teachers recruited in recent years still face losses of €50,000-€100,000 over a career, when compared with pre-2011 colleagues.

The protest was co-ordinated by the three teacher unions - INTO, ASTI and TUI.

INTO president John Boyle said the forthcoming report must be a clear roadmap back to pay equality.

Teacher Nikki Good, from Our Lady Immaculate Junior School in Darndale, Dublin, at the Dáil protest. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Teacher Nikki Good, from Our Lady Immaculate Junior School in Darndale, Dublin, at the Dáil protest. Photo: Steve Humphreys

He said young teachers were now having difficulty in getting mortgages.

ASTI president Ger Curtin said: "We are not going away. We are going to fight this."

He said the lower pay scales were causing a brain drain.

Meanwhile, TUI president Joanne Irwin said they were not seeking an overnight solution, but wanted a commitment to full restoration by 2021.

The pay equality issue will be top of the agenda at the upcoming annual teacher conferences.

Fianna Fáil education spokesperson Thomas Byrne reaffirmed his party's commitment to achieving full pay equality for teachers.

Irish Independent

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