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Teachers' starting pay to be €1,538 lower under deal

THE starting pay of newly-qualified teachers will be €1,538 lower than that paid to new teachers last year, as a result of the review of allowances.

However, the salary blow was softened by arguments about the need to continue to attract high calibre people to the profession.

New entrants to teaching are losing their qualifications allowance, worth about €5,000 a year.

But, in part compensation, they will now start at the fourth point on their pay scale, rather than the first.

It translates into a starting salary of €30,702, plus an additional €1,592 for those who sign up for supervision and substitution duties, giving a total of €32,294.

To qualify for the supervision and substitution allowance, new entrants will have to provide 12 additional hours per year, over and above the existing requirement.

New teachers are also losing the Gaeltacht, island and teaching through Irish allowances, worth €3,063, €1,842 and €1,583 respectively.

Inferior

Teacher unions have attacked the cuts, which, they say, create a two-tier teaching profession.

Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI) general secretary Pat King said "a system which serves to demoralise and demotivate young teachers by giving them inferior terms and conditions will inevitably impact negatively on our young people's education."

Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) general secretary John MacGabhann said "this savage attack runs completely counter to the Government's oft-vaunted commitment to the knowledge society".

Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) general secretary Sheila Nunan said the Government could not defend separate salary scales for teachers doing the same work.

She said the new salary scale for new teachers was the result of months of work by the union to redress a pay cut for new entrants. While some progress had been made, the union will work to redress the remainder, she said.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, his officials and teachers' unions made a strong case in recent months about the need to minimise losses in order to attract quality candidates.

Irish Independent