Future is bleak for teachers unless pay equality is introduced

03 April 2018

Labour Party Education Spokesperson, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called on the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton to escalate plans to tackle the teaching shortage at both primary and secondary level as well as producing a roadmap to pay equality in the teaching sector.

This comes as the Teachers’ Union of Ireland has produced a survey of teaching staff that has found that almost half of teachers recruited in recent years do not see themselves remaining in the profession in ten years time. This same cohort overwhelmingly said that if pay equality was secured they would remain in the profession.

Commenting on the survey, Senator Ó Ríordáin said:

“For months, I have been calling on the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, to produce a roadmap to pay equality in the teaching profession. Not a month goes by that we don’t hear that the teacher shortage is reaching tipping point. The survey results show that the pay inequality issue is contributing to the teacher shortage and has the potential to make it even worse.

“The Minister for Education would rather govern through action plans and task force than produce a much-needed roadmap and accept the principle of equality of pay.

“This survey by the TUI coupled with the fact that there has been a 62 per cent drop in applicants for teacher training courses, paints a very bleak picture for the future of teaching in our country.

“If the Minister truly wants an excellent education system he needs excellent motivated teachers who are encouraged to remain in Ireland to teach after they graduate. We hear many reports of newly-qualified teachers heading to the Middle East for better pay and conditions. This is not good enough.

“No doubt, we will see the the Minister announce more subject options this year, and this is welcome, we need a more diverse subject choice in our schools but it is completely pointless to try to lure high-skilled graduates from science and language backgrounds if current young teachers do not see themselves in the profession in ten years time.

“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.”

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