Pay restoration for teachers

 

Sir, – Eighteen months ago, An Taoiseach announced that it was only right that government restore the pay of public servants who suffered significant cuts during the financial crisis. Since then, teacher unions have fought to convince government that the career earnings of all teachers who began working after 2010 needed to be equalised with those whose careers commenced before then.

This week, Leo Varadkar, responding to the consultants’ recruitment and retention crisis, stated that the two-tier pay system for hospital consultants was wrong.

There is also a recruitment and retention crisis in primary teaching. The Department of Education released damning figures this month showing that on 118,112 days in 2017, primary school principals could not find a substitute teacher to teach classes in Ireland.

Since then our principals have reported that many schools have been unable to fill long-term positions.

Meanwhile, INTO has spent eight months trying to convince Government to begin a review process that will finally lay the pathway for pay equality in primary teaching. Many primary teachers who qualified between 2011 and 2014 have emigrated. More intend to leave next summer. When Minister McHugh visited Irish teachers in Dubai earlier this year, he heard that pay inequality was a barrier to returning home.

The primary school children of 2020 deserve to have a fully qualified teacher every day.

The two-tier system in primary education is wrong. Children are suffering because of this injustice. Government must right this wrong in the coming months. – Yours, etc,

JOHN BOYLE,

General Secretary,

INTO,

Dublin 1.