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Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary

THE TRADE UNION representing Ireland’s primary school teachers has criticised yesterday’s reviews of public service allowances, saying the decision not to reverse allowances suspended in the last Budget is tantamount to a third annual cut in teachers’ pay.

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation said decisions to cap qualification allowances for new entrants to the teaching system means primary teachers have been hit harder through successive cutbacks than other public servants.

“While qualification allowances are abolished, new teachers will start on the fourth point of the salary scale,” the union’s general secretary Shiela Nunan said.

“In addition, all teachers who carry out supervision duties will continue to be paid the supervision allowance. This means the starting salary for new teachers, including a supervision allowance, will now be €32,294.

Three years ago a similarly newly-employed teacher could expect a wage of €39,195 – meaning a gross pay cut of 17 per cent in the last three years.

The pay could have been lower, however, as supervision allowances – an extra allowance paid to teachers in return for giving up breaks in order to supervise in the schoolyard at lunch break – had been retained, having been identified as previously being up for abolition.

Nunan said the pay now being offered to new teachers did not reflect the academic standard of new teachers in Ireland, who she said had been recognised as among the highest achievers, in academic terms, in the world.

She argued that it was not possible to defend a system where younger teachers were paid significantly less than only slightly more experienced peers who were doing exactly the same work.

The union said it would continue to work towards reducing inequalities among teachers’ salaries.

via Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary.

via Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary.

Salary Cuts for New Teachers a Recipe for Disaster

The general secretary of the Irish National Teachers Organisation today called on the Ministers for Public Service Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin and the Minister for Education and Skills to restore the salary levels of new teachers or risk causing serious damage to the quality of teachers in Ireland.

Sheila Nunan was speaking following the publication of a report for the Higher Education Authority which recommended a reorganisation of teacher education provision.

The review carried out by a panel of international experts noted the high calibre of entrants to teacher education in Ireland. Its report stated that the academic standard of applicants to teaching is amongst the highest, if not the highest, in the world. It recommended that this rich resource be highly valued.

Ms Nunan said this recommendation stood in stark contrast to the series of wage cuts imposed on starting teachers.

Teachers starting teaching for the first time this September are being paid €27,814 which is €11,381 less than teachers recruited in 2010. The reduction comes about from a ten per cent pay reduction, a less favourable starting point on the salary scale and the non-payment of allowances which the union says is part of teachers’ salaries.

“At the very time a prestigious international report is advising government to value its excellent teachers the government demeans their work and erodes their goodwill by cutting their pay,” said Ms Nunan.

Teaching in Ireland is recognised in the report as an attractive career choice and recruitment is highly competitive. The work is seen as demanding and it attracts social prestige unlike in most other countries in Europe.

Ms Nunan said government could not continue to cut pay and expect to attract the brightest and the best into teaching. She called on government to pay new teachers the same allowances as their colleagues.


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