INTO notes report on pay inequality and demands immediate talks

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation today noted the report on pay inequality by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). The union demanded immediate talks with public service management to bring about an end to pay inequality which it said had created deep resentment in Irish schools for the past seven years.

The INTO voted against the current pay agreement because it failed to deal with pay inequality which the union says affects teachers disproportionately. Today's report fails to acknowledge this disproportionate treatment of teachers. Newer entrants to teaching are
on a 27 year scale compared to a 24 year scale for older teachers. These pay scales are the longest scales in the public service.

INTO president, John Boyle said, “There must a pathway to end pay inequality. It takes 27 years to reach the top of the teachers’ salary scale, the longest in the public service. Tackling pay inequality will need faster progression for teachers already recruited on lower salaries and a shortening of the scale.”

Unequal pay scales were imposed by government on post 1 January 2011 entrants, a move that was consistently opposed by the teacher unions since then. Some of the inequality was reversed under the Haddington Road Agreement, and under the Lansdowne Road Agreement the INTO made significant progress securing the restoration of a degree allowance for newer entrants.

However, pay inequality remains a very divisive issue in schools. Over a career in teaching a 2012 entrant remains €100,000 (4%) behind a 2010 entrant.

Mr. Boyle said, “The financial emergency is over, pay inequality must also end.”

Today’s report shows that 58,000 new entrants to the public sector are on the lower scales imposed in 2011 and an estimated €200 million is required to resolve the issue.