The ASTI will ballot its members on industrial action, up to and including strike action, if the Department of Education and Skills fails to restore the common pay scale for all teachers by August 31, 2016.
Teachers who entered the profession after 2010 are on different pay scales than their colleagues even though they have the same duties and responsibilities.
Budget 2011 slashed new teachers’ pay by 10 per cent. In 2012, most pay allowances above the basic salary scale (e.g. allowance for obtaining a Master’s Degree) were abolished for those entering teaching (as well as for new beneficiaries).
While the ASTI has made some progress in having these cuts restored, it still remains that new and recently qualified teachers are placed on inferior pay scales.
Because many newly qualified teachers spend the first few years of their career in temporary and/ or part-time teaching positions, they experience the double whammy of a part-time income and an inferior pay scale. Ireland has a far higher proportion of temporary teaching positions at second-level compared to the OECD TALIS average* - 30 per cent in Ireland compared to the OECD TALIS average of 15 per cent.
This is after they have spent the required four to six years training to be teachers, attaining a Degree and Professional Master’s in Education.
Three colleagues, three payscales. Read our article in May 2016 ASTIR.
ASTI GAINS FOR NEW TEACHERS
Progress on CIDs
From September 2015, second-level teachers become eligible for permanency after just two year’s teaching in a school. This is far better than the entitlement under employment law where eligibility arises after four years of fixed term contracts.
The deal, secured by the ASTI and TUI, aims to address the high level of casualisation in the second-level teaching profession. As a result Contracts of Indefinite Duration (CIDs) were awarded to 1,800 teachers in September 2015, compared to 1,000 in 2014.
Teachers covering for those on career breaks and secondments also qualify for CIDs after two years under the new arrangements.
It is expected that a large number of CIDs will be awarded in September 2016 and again in the coming years.
Click here to read more about CIDs.
Progress on reversal of pay cuts
Budget 2011 introduced a 10 per cent pay cut for teachers entering the profession from January 2011. The pay cut was applied to their salary and allowances.
The following year, qualification allowances for teachers entering after February 1st 2012 were abolished.
?The ASTI along with the other teacher unions negotiated a pay increase for teachers entering after February 1st 2012 which goes some way towards compensating for the loss of qualification allowances.
?Most recently, in May 2014, the ASTI and the other teacher unions negotiated a new improved salary scale for teachers who entered teaching between 1/1/2011 and 1/2/2012. These teachers now have the same ‘top of the scale’ salary of €59,359 as the pre-2011 teachers. In addition the teacher unions secured a 10 per cent increase in qualification allowances for teachers who entered between 1/1/2011 and 1/2/2012.
Free ASTI membership
Since 2012 the ASTI has waived subscription fees for a year for teachers affected by cuts to qualification allowances.
Panel system for second-level teachers
The ASTI has sought the establishment of a panel system for the filling of second-level teaching vacancies. As a result of ASTI pressure, the feasibility of such a system is being examined.
Support for new teachers
The ASTI provides industrial relations advice and representation to all members and seeks to improve their working conditions, and increase their hours and job security whenever possible. A large amount of this work is in support of new and non-permanent teachers.
Highlighting new teachers’ issues
We are creating awareness through the media and among the public about the unfair treatment of young teachers, and urging all teachers to join with us in our campaign of opposition. Read more in the ASTI media centre.
* TALIS is an international survey programme which focuses on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers in schools. It is a collaborative endeavour between governments, an International Consortium, the OECD and Teachers' Unions.