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News Archive 2015

INTO says £10.7million Bill Caused By Teacher Stress Is 'Spiralling out of control'

A SENIOR official at Ireland's largest teachers' trade union says the cost of days lost because teachers are being forced to take time off work due to stress is 'spiralling out of control' with latest figures revealing a bill in excess of £10.7million over the last five years.

Tony Carlin, of INTO, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, said the figures released in response to a question, put to the Assembly Education Committee by MLA Michelle McIlveen, reveal an 'alarming' real life crisis in our schools.

Mr Carlin said the Education Committee revealed 82,057 teaching days have been lost due to stress over the last five years which is costing the taxpayer £10,700,232.80.

Furthermore, the number of teaching days lost due to work related stress is 18,173 which is costing the taxpayer £2,368,824.40 over the same period.

Speaking about the latest figures, Mr Carlin said: "These figures were discussed at today's (19/03/03)  TNC meeting. They are totally indicative of the level of work which teachers are required to do, inside and outside the classroom. They have so many different groups of people to answer to including parents, Boards of Governors and the Department of Education on top of trying to educate our young people in the best way they can.

"We have to bear in mind these figures do not include teachers working in the grammar sector or indeed Further Education colleges so it's fair to say the total cost is much higher. These figures also do not cover the cost of employing sub teachers to fill the positions of those teachers who have been forced to take off work due to stress."

"These figures are alarming and the Department of Education can no longer bury its head in the sand. We are now facing our fifth year of cuts and last week's strike demonstrated that our members are saying 'enough is enough'. There needs to be a value put on education. Our teachers need to be valued.

"The Department of Education needs to be a lot wiser on how it spends its money. Here we are with a £10.7million bill because teachers are too stressed to work, we have a £2.4million bill due to days lost because of work related stress and to top it off we have a £943,648 bill because teacher suspensions are not being deal with. The Department is accountable for how it spends its money. We are saying give our teachers the support they need to do their jobs, put value on education and do not make cuts which will have a detrimental effect on our society as a whole.

ENDS:

NOTES TO EDITOR:

  • INTO is the Irish National Teachers' Organisation. It is the largest teachers' union in Ireland. INTO has a Northern Office and a Southern Office. The Northern Office is based at Vere Foster House, 23-24 College Gardens, Belfast. #NIConf2015
  • For interview requests or  further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569| 07709805379|


Date: Friday, 20 March 15