Who earns what in teaching ?
These new teachers are second-class citizens in the new two-tier teaching profession.
It seems absurd that, in 2012, we could be facing a crisis in the form of an intergenerational struggle, with the younger teachers demanding equal pay for equal work, but at the moment it seems inevitable.
* Brendan has been teaching for 19 years. He holds a post of responsibility in his school and gets a qualification allowance
Face-to-face teaching hours22 a week
Estimated preparation hours12-16 a week
Salary€64,000 a year. He takes home €2,700 a month
Brendan says:“I’d spend two hours a day preparing for classes, and the subjects I teach would be heavy on the corrections, but I wouldn’t have those every day. When Enda Kenny said what he did about a 40-hour week for teachers we all found it amusing. If they want us to clock in and clock out, we’ll have no problem filling the time.
“I didn’t go into teaching for the money or the hours. I could have done other things. I wanted to teach, I'm glad I made that decision.
“I don’t know what’s happened in the past few years. I can’t talk to some of my friends about my job any more because it just ends up in an argument. Somewhere along the way people have decided that we don’t get value from teachers.
“There is a problem of perception. People look at teachers and think, I could do that. They see three months’ holidays without realising that most of us are in school until the end of June and back by mid August. They think massive pensions without realising that many teachers will never get to the top of this 25-year pay scale and probably won’t recoup the money they put into their pension. This isn’t giving out; it’s just fact.
“A lot of what was seen as pay-off for not earning as much as graduates in other jobs, like the relative flexibility and family-friendliness of the job, is being eroded. You wonder what will attract people to teaching now.”
* Sinéad is a primary teacher in the west. She came to teaching after working in other areas and has been teaching for six years. She receives a qualification allowance in addition to her salary
Face-to-face teaching hours25 a week
Estimated preparation hours12 a week
Salary€47,532 a year. She takes home €2,000 a month
Sinéad says:“I spent my first five years working in a Deis school” – meaning it benefits from extra funds under the Delivering Equality Of Opportunity in Schools scheme – “but last year the school lost a number of teachers, so some of us were redeployed. Now I’m in a regular suburban school.
“It’s a very draining job. I’ve worked long days, but nothing compares to how you feel at the end of a teaching day. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it’s very intense. Much more so than any other job I’ve had.
“I made a drastic mistake when I got my permanent teaching job. Like so many people, I rushed to the bank and got a mortgage. It was before the pension levy and the universal social charge, so I had more money.