Call for ‘fair pay’ for new teachers during Dáil protest

Recently qualified woman had ‘high hopes’ for job but has had to consider emigration due to salary

Teachers attending an Irish National Teachers’ Organisation protest at Leinster House in Dublin. Photograph: Kenneth O’Halloran.

Teachers attending an Irish National Teachers’ Organisation protest at Leinster House in Dublin. Photograph: Kenneth O’Halloran.

 

The Government was urged to deliver “fair pay” for newly qualified teachers during a protest outside Leinster House on Tuesday.

About 300 teachers gathered for the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation demonstration, with the union’s vice president Joe Killeen saying it was “unjustifiable” that some were victims of “inequality”.

“It’s unjustifiable to have two different pay scales. It cannot be embedded. It’s been there since 2011, it’s time now to get the pay scale sorted out,” he said.

“It’s totally unjustifiable and the problem with it is, and I think we need to say that to our TD’s just inside the gates there, is causing low morale for our young teachers...It’s unfair, it’s unjust and it needs to end.”

INTO activist Greg Kerr said teachers must be ready to take to the picket line if the ongoing public service pay talks did not deliver “full pay equalisation and full pay restoration”.

“We as union members need to be ready to take action if these talks don’t deliver. Enough is enough. Let this be the last time we have to rally outside the Dail calling for pay equalisation,” he said.

“Let’s deliver a very clear message to all of the negotiators - we don’t want to take to the picket lines but we’re not afraid to either. We demand and we expect to be treated with respect.”

Joanne McAndrew, a teacher from Adamstown Educate National School in Dublin, said “I had high hopes” for her career when she graduated from St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra in 2012.

“I had expected a modest salary however I never expected to be paid on a different pay scale. I’m aware that all public servants suffered cuts in pay due to the economic crisis. However, post 2011 entrants suffered further cuts,” she said.

“These savage cuts were introduced when I was still in college studying to be a teacher...Like many of my peers I have had to seriously consider emigration in order to earn a decent wage and save a deposit for a house.”

The protest was also attended by members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland and the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland.