One-in-ten members of the ASTI, one of Ireland’s largest teacher unions, is now retired

Longer school days would solve a lot of problems for children, parents and teachers. Photo: monkeybusinessimages

Ralph Riegel

ONE-in-ten members of one of Ireland's largest teacher unions are now retired.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) conference in Cork was told that 10.7pc of its membership is now emeritus members or retired teachers.

That represents a significant increase over the past decade in the proportion of union membership made up of retired teachers.

In 2016, just 7.8pc of the ASTI membership was comprised of emeritus or retired members.

There are now 1,959 emeritus members of the union with 69 honorary life members.

Total union membership now stands at 18,323 - a slight decline of 0.7pc on the 2020 figure of 18,452.

Of the total union membership, 12,766 were women and 5,557 were men.

The primary membership declines occurred in the areas of job sharers (-8.1pc) and associate non pro-rata/substitute teachers (-9pc).

Some 15.6pc of the membership reduction was temporarily accounted for by teachers on leave.

However, the union welcomed the fact that student membership has grown significantly over the past three years.

In December 2017 the ASTI had 37 student members but that had soared to 132 by last December, an increase of 300pc plus.

The union boasts a total of 11,386 full members, a membership which has held solid despite the Covid-19 pandemic.