Why are some teachers paid less?
The problem is a legacy of the economic crash. Pay and allowances were cut in 2011 and 2012, with the result that new entrants started on salaries substantially less than those who had started work in 2010.
What is the current situation?
The Government argues that 75pc of the gap has been bridged and that post-2011 entrants can now merge back onto the old pay scale, albeit after a number of years on the lower rates.
How much are new entrants actually paid?
Under current proposals, the starting pay for a teacher will rise to €37,600 by 2020. However, if full equalisation was achieved, this would rise to €43,879 for a post-primary teacher and €42,511 for a primary teacher.
Surely the Government believes in the principle of equal pay for equal work?
It's a question with which ministers have routinely struggled. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has argued that he must look at the bigger picture.
The Education budget was increased by €458m this year. This was divided between pay restoration, new investment and new teachers.
So what now?
There is no provision in the current Budget to venture away from what is on offer in the public sector pay deal 2018-2020.
However, that agreement does offer scope for a review of the situation that could ultimately lead to a longer-term solution.