Two-thirds of recently qualified second-level teachers in precarious employment – ASTI/ RED C survey


Thursday 13 April 2017

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ASTI news

Lack of job security coupled with differential pay scales for recently qualified teachers represent a critical threat to the future of second-level teaching and education in Ireland, ASTI President Ed Byrne said today.

Two-thirds of second-level teachers who entered the profession since 2010 are still working in temporary and/ or part-time teaching positions, research conducted by RED C has found. Almost one in five (18%) supplement their teaching income by working a second job.

Speaking at the launch of the survey findings today, the ASTI President said:

“Our young teachers are highly educated and motivated but have inferior conditions and pay. Many of them do not know if they have a job in the next school year and all of them are on lesser pay scales than their colleagues who began teaching just a few years before them. What does this say about the value we place on teaching and education in this country?”

Skilled, motivated teachers

Sixty-two per cent of recently qualified teachers have qualifications in addition to their teaching qualifications. These include Master’s degrees and post graduate diplomas.

 “While the majority of young teachers say they entered the profession because of a desire to help young people and to teach subjects they love, the level of pay and lack of job security are causing huge job dissatisfaction. Almost half of those surveyed said that holding on to their current teaching job is their main career aspiration for 2020. That really says a lot about the increasingly precarious nature of teaching.

“Ireland is fortunate in the high quality of its teaching profession. Since 2014 a Master’s is normally required for entry into second level teaching. Young teachers engage in significant upskilling and 90 per cent of them are involved in running extra-curricular activities for their students. These findings are reassuring. However, the results of the survey also clearly demonstrate a tension amongst recently qualified teachers between their commitment to enhancing young people’s lives and the frustrations of being a precarious worker with inferior terms and conditions and little to no job security. We must address the serious and significant factors which are undermining the attractiveness of teaching as a career before it is too late.”

Forty per cent of respondents in the RED C survey said the level of pay was the number one factor causing job dissatisfaction. For twenty-six per cent the main cause of job dissatisfaction was lack of job security.

New teachers’ pay was cut in 2011 and again in 2012. An ASTI teacher starting in 2017 has a salary which is nearly 21% below the 2010 starting salary. The issue of recently qualified teachers’ pay will be debated at the ASTI’s annual conference in Killarney next week.


Click here for ASTI Survey on Recently Qualified Teachers, April, 2017.

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