Teachers and two-tier system of pay

 

Sir, – The Minister for Education and Skills says that he will host meetings with Irish teachers based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this summer in a bid to convince them to return home (“Minister to meet teachers in UAE in move to encourage them home”, News, May 3rd).

If he is serious about securing this aim, he must outline to these teachers full details, including a timeline, of his plan to finally eliminate the scourge of pay discrimination which results in teachers appointed after January 1st, 2011, still being paid at a lower rate than their colleagues for carrying out the same work.

The correlation between the imposition of pay discrimination and the recruitment and retention crisis currently afflicting second-level schools across the country is crystal clear, with a dramatic decrease in the numbers pursuing the Professional Master of Education (PME) – required to teach at second level – in the years that followed the introduction of a two-tier system of pay.

A survey carried out last month by TUI’s Principals and Deputy Principals Association in a significant sample – 120 – of second-level schools found that 94 per cent experienced teacher recruitment difficulties in the previous six months while 63 per cent of schools had experienced teacher retention difficulties. The same survey found that, over the same period, 68 per cent of schools advertised positions for which no teacher applied, while 47 per cent of schools currently have unfilled teaching vacancies. – Yours, etc,

SEAMUS

LAHART,

President,

Teachers’ Union

of Ireland (TUI),

Orwell Road,

Rathgar,

Dublin 6.