Minister McHugh commits to resolving pay inequality for teachers at International Summit

The 2019 International Summit on the Teaching Profession brings together ministers and teacher union leaders from countries and regions with high-performing or rapidly-improving school systems. The 2019 Summit is jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Education International (EI).

At the summit, each national delegation meets to discuss their policy priorities for 2019 with a view to publicising their top priorities at the closing session. INTO General Secretary Designate John Boyle attended the summit and directly raised both the need to end pay inequality and the need to provide additional supports for school leaders with Minister McHugh. Both of these critical issues were agreed for inclusion and now become two of the top education priorities for the Irish government.

The priorities adopted by the Irish Government at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession include:

Stakeholder engagement in planning implementation and pacing of reforms: Use the recently established Primary Education Forum and other appropriate fora at primary and second level to ensure that stakeholders are involved in giving careful consideration to the implementation of education reforms, including pacing, resources, student and teacher well-being, and the professional capacity building and leadership required

Early Years education: Implement, in collaboration with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other stakeholders, the relevant education-focussed actions from First 5, A Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families including actions on workforce development, curricular development (including work on Early Years to Primary transitions), and quality assurance

Teacher professionalism and leadership: Continue to invest in high quality school leaders and a well-qualified teaching profession as key contributors to the Irish education system; this will include working with teacher unions, the Teaching Council, providers of initial and continuing professional development (CPD), the Centre for School Leadership and other stakeholders to sustain and improve the supply of teachers and school leaders; to continue to advance improvements in the middle management of schools; and to implement the recommendations of the Minister’s Teacher Supply Group

New entrant teachers’ pay: Continue ongoing engagement and constructive dialogue between teacher unions and government on post-2010 entrant teacher pay and seek to work towards a resolution within the context of the Public Services Agreement.

INTO General Secretary Designate John Boyle said, “Today, Minister McHugh acknowledged that pay equality for new entrants is a top priority for the Irish government and has agreed to seek a resolution in the context of the Public Services Agreement. As our annual Congress approaches, we want to be in a position to put a proposed resolution to our members at the earliest opportunity.”