Any deal must provide route to full pay restoration, says ASTI

Teachers’ union says next agreement must address issues if industrial unrest to be avoided

Teachers on strike at Dominican College, Griffith Avenue, Dublin  last year. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Teachers on strike at Dominican College, Griffith Avenue, Dublin last year. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

Any new public service pay agreement must provide a clear pathway towards the full restoration of teachers’ remuneration to precrisis levels, the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has urged.

The union, which represents about 18,000 second-level teachers, also says a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement must end the two-tier pay structure for staff recruited in recent years and ensure “equal pay for equal work”.

The ASTI, in its submission to the new Public Service Pay Commission, says any new agreement should bring to an end the requirement for teachers to work additional hours for no additional money.

“The ASTI believes that the most recent national pay agreement, the Lansdowne Road Agreement, is seriously flawed. It does not provide for the restoration of the pay differential for new entrants to the public service and it underestimated the strength of the growth in the economy.”

“For the next agreement to be acceptable, it must address the major grievances of public-sector workers; both general and sectoral. This is essential if industrial unrest is to be avoided.”

It said the key elements of any successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement must include:

* Equal pay for equal work

* Full pay restoration

*An end to unremunerated additional working hours

* Accelerated abolition of the pension-related deduction (pension levy)

* Pension parity restoration.

‘Earned the right’

The ASTI in its submission to the commission, says that while all sections of society were “massively impacted” by the economic crisis , teachers and other public servants “have earned the right to share in the benefits of any recovery”.

“Government has had additional funds available for 2017 and sustainable growth has been forecast for the coming years. The economy has improved faster than envisaged in recent years as, for example, projections on which recent public service agreements were signed have been overreached.”

“A compelling case can now be made for full restoration as better than expected growth and ‘fiscal space’ has emerged.”

The commission is due to report after Easter and this will be followed by negotiations between the Government and public service unions on a successor to the Lansdowne Road accord.

Last week the Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil that the bill for ending the two-tier pay structure for teachers would be about €70 million.