Ballot – INTO members vote to accept proposed pay deal

INTO members have voted to accept ‘Building Momentum – A New Public Service Pay Agreement’. In an online ballot, 80.6% of participants voted in favour of the agreement. The turnout was 59.1 %.

We want to thank you for taking the time to vote in this important ballot.

Through your work, we have secured a significant turnout of 59.1 % and we welcome your feedback on the online vote, the first time we have conducted a ballot of this type at this level.

The proposed agreement addresses three outstanding issues prioritised by members for a decade or longer:

Pay equality

The agreement ensures that post-2010 entrants to primary teaching will no longer suffer from pay losses compared with earlier entrants, ending future losses and reducing any historical losses. By skipping point 12 on the teachers’ salary scale, the length of the scale has now been restored to 24 points, as was the case prior to the cuts introduced by government in 2011.

Principals’ and deputy principals’ pay award

The sectoral bargaining component of the draft agreement provides the union with the opportunity to advance from February 2022 the outstanding adjudication in favour of primary school principals and deputy principals.

Thirteen years ago, an independent review concluded that the allowances of principals and deputy principals in schools with five teachers or less should be increased by approximately €3,000. It also recommended that the allowances paid to school leaders in larger schools should increase by on average €2,000 per principal and €1,500 per deputy principal.

In the intervening years the workload of our primary school leaders has increased considerably while middle leadership teams have been decimated due to the moratorium on promotions in primary and special schools.

General pay 

‘Building Momentum’ also provides increases in October 2021 and again in October 2022 of €500 or 1% of gross earnings, whichever is greater. Considering that primary teachers, like all public servants, had to contend with reduced salaries for eleven years, these increases will build on the ending of pay austerity measures last October and signal a new beginning for our members.

Retired teachers will also benefit from a 2% uplift to pensions by October next year.

The proposed agreement commits the union to industrial peace on issues covered in its terms and to ongoing cooperation with curriculum renewal and a number of Department of Education initiatives and action plans.

On behalf of the Central Executive Committee, we want to thank you for encouraging members to vote in this ballot. For many of us, this has been a long time coming and as we look to the future, we can be proud of what we have delivered together.

Commenting on the result, INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:

For ten years, pay equality has been the key priority for this union, with members showing incredible solidarity and support for their colleagues who entered the profession since 2011. In incremental steps, this agreement and its predecessors have finally ended future career earnings’ losses and have restored pay equality, our agreed objective set by our members. 

During the pandemic we have seen our school leaders demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to their roles, organising phases of remote learning and reopening our schools in challenging circumstances last September. Thirteen years ago, an independent body acknowledged the value of our primary school principals, who are paid considerably less than their second-level colleagues and recommended an increase in their pay. For thirteen years, we have pursued this payment for our school leaders and we look forward to finally delivering this through the sectoral bargaining fund on 1 February 2022.”