3rd April 2018
The INTO today demanded immediate and time-bound pay talks, starting this month and finishing next month, to end pay inequality.
Speaking at the union’s annual congress in Killarney, INTO General Secretary Sheila Nunan told the Minister for Education, “If that fails, the INTO will ballot members for a campaign of industrial action, up to and including strike action, where possible with second level colleagues.”
Sheila Nunan said pay inequality is a running sore within the teaching profession. The union’s executive recommended rejection of the recent pay agreement based on the failure to progress pay equality.
“The pay agreement didn’t end pay inequality, show how it would be ended or say when it would be ended,” said Ms Nunan. “It did not draw a line under the pay discrimination that is sapping morale, eroding good will and is a major cause of the current teacher shortage in our schools.”
Ms Nunan said pay inequality was imposed unilaterally in the National Recovery Plan of November 2010 and the Budget of December 2010. “We didn’t agree it. We didn’t recommend it. We didn’t vote for it. We opposed it then and we still oppose it.”
Ms Nunan said she welcomed the fact that the Taoiseach had finally accepted the union’s position that pay inequality imposed on teachers and other public servants is the cause of discord in workplaces. The Taoiseach acknowledged that government pay policy impacts unfairly on younger people who face expensive rent and childcare costs who at the same time struggle to save to buy homes.
Ms Nunan said teachers were treated unequally and unfairly for seven years and “it has to stop.”
“We want an immediate and time-bound engagement, starting this month and finishing next month that will end pay inequality. If that effort fails then we will ballot members for a campaign of industrial action, up to and including strike action, where possible with second level colleagues. This is the last chance we have to resolve it.”