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INTO President calls for fair pay for teachers 17/04/17

INTO President calls for fair pay for teachers

Monday, 17 April 2017

Press Release

Irish National Teachers Organisation

INTO Congress 2017

The INTO president Rosena Jordan told the union’s annual Congress in Belfast that fair pay for teachers is the union’s priority. She said last September’s agreement on revised pay scales was a significant achievement for new entrants. It delivered the full value of a previously scrapped honours degree allowance, worth about 4,000 euro for all new entrants.

This, she said, resolved the equality issue between post-2012 entrants and their immediate predecessors in 2011. It benefits 3,500 primary teachers who started since February 2012 and every teacher who commences from the date of September 2016.

But, she warned, the issue of pay equality was not fully resolved. She said the union would continue to remind politicians and the public that pay equality is not resolved.

This union’s message was that the fight for pay equality goes on, and that the union will not give up until equal pay for equal work has been achieved. She told the 800 delegates that the INTO’s Labour Court challenge on pay inequality was not yet completed and would continue. 

“We believe that this unequal pay for exactly the same work is neither justifiable nor lawful,” she said. “The great majority of new entrant teachers are young and we believe that it is indirectly discriminatory on the age ground to pay them less for the same work.”

She also pointed out that, rather than applying lesser pay rates to new entrants universally across the public service, the reductions have operated only at certain grades and not at the most senior levels, even in cases where the appointee is a new entrant to the public service.

Ms Jordan also called for principals and deputy principals to be paid the same as their second level counterparts. In 2007 this was agreed under Benchmarking but never paid. This, she said, had become a huge source of grievance for primary principals and deputy principals. She said the job of the principal at primary level had become increasingly complex. The majority are teaching principals, who carry the same level of responsibility and accountability as their colleagues in larger schools, but they also teach full-time.

“The demands of legislation do not distinguish between principals on the basis of school size or sector,” said Ms Jordan. “The failure to restore the payment is unfair and unjust.”

She said that, recently, Minister Bruton had remarked that we are lucky in Ireland to have such a dedicated and committed teaching profession, “with school leaders of the highest calibre”.

“Fine words don’t butter potatoes,” said the INTO president. “It is past time that pay matches plámás.”

She also called for cuts to public service pay to be reversed. “The emergency is over. There is no justification in continuing to penalise public servants,” she said. “The measures imposed by emergency legislation between 2009 and 2015 must be reversed.” Ms Jordan said there needed to be a road map out of the FEMPI legislation which is acceptable to public servants and the country at large. “This can be achieved through pension levy reductions, pay restoration and engagement with unions on terms and conditions.”  

“It’s not rocket science,” she said. “All teachers have earned a pay rise. All teachers need a pay rise.”