Minister McHugh commits to resolving pay inequality for teachers

Friday 15 March 2019

The 2019 International Summit on the Teaching Profession brings together Ministers and teacher union leaders from countries and regions with high-performing or rapidly improving school systems. The 2019 Summit is jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Education International (EI).


At the summit, each national delegation meets to discuss their policy priorities for 2019 with a view to publicising their top priorities at the closing session. ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie attended the summit and raised the union’s key concerns with Minister McHugh.


The priorities adopted by the Irish Government at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession include:

  • Stakeholder engagement in planning implementation and pacing of reforms: Use the recently established Primary Education Forum and other appropriate fora at primary and second level to ensure that stakeholders are involved in giving careful consideration to the implementation of education reforms, including pacing, resources, student and teacher well-being, and the professional capacity building and leadership required
  • Early Years education: Implement, in collaboration with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other stakeholders, the relevant education-focussed actions from First 5, A Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families  including actions on workforce development, curricular development (including work on Early Years to Primary transitions), and quality assurance
  • Teacher professionalism and leadership: Continue to invest in high quality school leaders and a well-qualified teaching profession as key contributors to the Irish education system; this will include working with teacher unions, the Teaching Council, providers of initial and continuing professional development (CPD), the Centre for School Leadership and other stakeholders to sustain and improve the supply of teachers and school leaders; to continue to advance improvements in the middle management of schools; and to implement the recommendations of the Minister’s Teacher Supply Group
  • New entrant teachers’ pay: Continue ongoing engagement and constructive dialogue between teacher unions and government on post-2010 entrant teacher pay and seek to work towards a resolution within the context of the Public Services Agreement.


Welcoming the commitments made, ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie said research demonstrates that countries which rank highest on education performance measures are more likely to have strong teacher unions which play an active role in education policy decisions. “It is essential that the teaching profession plays a core role in education reform processes. In addition, we welcome the Minister’s commitment to work towards a resolution of the issue of the pay of post 2010 entrants to teaching.”