Equal Pay for Equal Work

Information notice for members

Pay talks

The ASTI, INTO and TUI are attending talks between unions representing public sector workers and Government officials on pay for post 2010 entrants. The three teacher unions have been engaging in a joint campaign for equal pay since the beginning of the school year. This has included the adoption of a similar motion at all three teacher union annual conferences stating that failure to resolve the issue of unequal pay for post 2010 entrants to teaching will lead to a campaign of industrial action, as mandated by members

At the talks between the public sector unions and Government officials, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform stated that the total cost of achieving equal pay scales across the public sector is €195 million. This is based on a methodology of adjusting incremental scales by two points. The cost of adjusting the teachers’ pay scale in this way is €59 million, according to the Department of PER.

On the first day of the talks, the teacher unions made it clear that they expected all of the issues with regard to post 2010 teachers’ pay to be addressed. These are:

  • The pay cut applied to new entrants to the public sector in 2011.
  • The outstanding teacher qualification allowance.
  • The fact that post 2010 teachers are appointed to the first point of the pay scale instead of the third point.

At its recent meeting on May 12th, ASTI Central Executive Council considered a report on the pay talks. ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie told the meeting that the ASTI has made it clear that a resolution to the problem of post 2010 teachers’ pay must involve addressing all three issues. In this context CEC adopted the following motion:

In light of the failure of the equal pay talks to conclude within the timeframe specified in the Standing Committee urgent motion to ASTI Convention 2018 – that is, by early May – that CEC ballot members for industrial action on the issue of equal pay, up to and including strike action, to be taken in conjunction with the other teacher unions.

ASTI is making arrangements for a ballot in autumn 2018.


Background to Equal Pay for Equal Work dispute


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. 


To view new teachers' salary scales, click here.  

Trade unions campaign for equal pay in January 2018 ASTIR.

Click here to read Equal Pay for Equal Work Leaflet.



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