Roadmap to pay equality in teaching is urgently needed
Labour Party spokesperson on Education, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has said the only way to solve the teacher shortage is by ending pay inequality to make it more attractive.
Senator Ó Ríordáin said:
“The comments by the Minister for Education yesterday that the growing economy is to blame for the shortage of teachers are preposterous. If this is indeed the case, then the Minister should immediately seek to meet with teaching unions to set out a roadmap for pay equality.
“The Minister is almost two years in office, in that time he has produced no roadmap and refuses to accept the principle of equality of pay. Last year, the government negotiated a pay deal which ignored the issue, leading to the outright rejection of a pay deal by the INTO for the first time in their history.
“Reports released earlier this week show that there has been a 62 per cent drop in those applying for teaching training courses. If the Minister truly wants an excellent education system he needs excellent motivated teachers.
“Over the last year the Minister for Education, has announced that subjects such as Computer Science and Mandarin Chinese to come on stream. While this welcome, how is the Minister supposed to attract these highly-skilled graduates at a time when it is difficult to fill posts for more traditional subjects?
“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.
“It is time for the Minister to act and outline how he plans to attract new, young people to the profession.”