Roadmap to pay equality needed to address lack of teachers

04 December 2017

Labour Party Education spokesperson, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called on the Minister for Education to publish a roadmap to pay equality in the teaching profession.

Senator Ó Ríordáin said:

“For the second time in the space of a week, Minister Bruton has published a subject specific action plan despite there being a lack of teachers.

“While I think that having plans to increase uptake in STEM and foreign languages is positive, it is worrying that many of the actions in these plans are impossible to implement due to a lack of teachers.

“The notion from the Minister that a language strategy would encourage more to teach the subject is ludicrous. The Minister doesn’t seem to realise that teaching is an unattractive option at the moment because of the lack of pay equality in our schools.

“We know anecdotally that schools are finding it increasingly difficult to hire teachers in many subject areas, including physics and foreign languages. How can Minister Bruton’s action plans and pilot schemes be expected to work in the long-term if there is a lack of teachers to carry out the plans?

“What the Minister now needs to do is to set up a roadmap for pay equality in the teaching sector in order to make young graduates feel compelled to enter the profession. With so many opportunities for science and language graduates both at home and abroad, the Minister should sit down with teaching unions to come up with a realistic plan for pay equality to encourage more into teaching.

“While moving overseas for work opportunities is very much part of the Irish psyche, we can’t continue to have a situation where newly qualified teachers feel they have no choice but to travel abroad for decent pay and conditions.

“We need to offer a fair playing field for young teachers and ensure they are receiving equal pay for equal work.”

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