Survey finds teachers working more


Second level teachers now work an average of 46 hours a week - even though they are only paid for 22 hours, according to a new survey commissioned by the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI).

The Behaviour & Attitudes study found teachers spend 24 hours per week working outside timetabled teaching hours. For a teacher on full (22) hours, this equates to a 46 hour week.

Some 80 per cent of teachers said discipline and conflict issues are on the increase, to the extent that they are distracting from the core business of teaching and learning.

The TUI said teachers are working harder than ever but that the profession had been demoralised by pay cuts and cutbacks in schools.

Yesterday, the TUI executive voted to reject the public service reform deal. The union leadership said it would also recommend rejection of the deal at next week's annual conference in Ennis, Co Clare.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Teachers work an average between 43 and 46 hours a week during term time
  •  81 per cent indicated discipline problems now take up considerable time
  •  87 per cent of teachers reported an increase in the carrying out of administrative duties over last five years
  •  72 per cent of teachers felt that supporting special needs students had increased their workload in the last five years
  •  48 per cent of teachers under the age of 35 and 45 per cent of teachers between 35 and 44 are involved in extracurricular sports activities.

TUI general secretary Peter MacMenamin said the survey findings came as no surprise to the union.

“Teaching is in many ways a demoralised profession in 2010. 1,200 teachers have lost their jobs at second level alone as a result of the education cutbacks. Pay has been reduced by up to 20 per cent when the pension levy, pay cut and non-payment of an agreed increase are factored in.”

“Resources to schools have been cut; promotional opportunities have been eliminated by a block on appointments, while a marked increase in disruption problems as a result of a rapidly changing social climate means teachers are working harder than ever,” Mr MacMenamin said.