Earlier this year, new visa regulations for non-EU students came into force, on May 1, 2011, meaning that any language classes must finish by 6pm, eg no more evening classes. This has resulted in numerous job losses as schools are now restricted to 8am to 6pm classes. Even if the schools are recognised by the Education Department as good, the Government has decided 'no'. To be able to teach English requires a degree and post-graduate certification, but the new legislation now means that hundreds of TEFL teachers will no longer be able to teach evening classes. Not a big deal? We earn on average €15 an hour, or less than €400 a week (before taxes).
I wrote to Alan Shatter, whose secretary acknowledged my letter. I wrote to Richard Bruton, to explain about job losses (his assistant emailed me to say it wasn't his remit. I guess job loss isn't in the remit for the 'jobs minister') and to my own TD, Clare Daly, who didn't respond. I am disgusted. Every day there are new charges, taxes, and legislation that are causing huge hardship, and nobody can be bothered to even acknowledge this? Thanks. Remind me next time not to vote. What difference does it make?
Pamela Marin MA, M Phil (Oxon), PhD
balbriggan, co dublin
PS I would earn more on jobseekers than in my job, but I prefer to work. My taxes are paying for the government ministers' coffees and photocopies!