Tuesday 28 January 2020

One-in-four teachers 'being treated like yellow packs'

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

OVER a quarter of teachers working in secondary schools are being treated like "yellow pack workers", it was claimed yesterday.

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) heard that up to 27pc of teachers are employed in temporary and part-time positions.

Its annual convention in Cork was told that new teachers were now starting on salaries that are 25-30pc lower than they were three or four years ago.

The treatment of new teachers dominated the discussions at the ASTI annual convention yesterday where a motion was passed condemning the "continued targeting" of the pay and conditions of teachers appointed since January 2011.

The union is calling for the restoration of the single incremental pay scale for all teachers.

A delegate from Limerick North, Emer Holly, told the convention that it was horrendous that teachers were now discouraging young people from going into the profession because of the changes in conditions.

An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development survey on teaching and learning in schools (TALIS) found that 93pc of Irish teachers were on fixed-term contracts in their first two years compared with the international average of 59pc.

ASTI general secretary Pat King said there was often resistance from management bodies to any kind of panel system that would give certainty to new teachers and limit management's right to "pick and choose" teachers.

Refused

He said that at any one time the union was dealing with 30 to 40 "live" cases where young teachers have been wrongly refused contracts of indefinite duration or CIDs.

To qualify for a CID, teachers have to have four years of unbroken service in one school.

Joe McCormack from Navan in Co Meath qualified as a maths and geography teacher 10 years ago with a Higher Diploma in Education as well as a Higher Diploma in IT.

Now 35, he says he faces uncertainty every summer as to whether or not he'll have a job the following September.

Irish Independent

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