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Secondary school teachers reject government pay proposals for new recruits

The ASTI’s executive will meet shortly to consider the outcome of the ballot.

Image: Sam Boal

MEMBERS OF THE Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) have voted to reject the government’s pay proposals for teachers recruited since 2011.

Nearly 10,000 ASTI members voted in a ballot on the New Entrants’ Salary Measure today, representing a 58% turnout.

The union’s central executive council made no recommendations on how members should vote in advance of the ballot. The measure was defeated by 53% to 47%.

The government’s proposals sought to give pay increases to more than 60,000 so-called “new recruits” who became teachers since 2011.

That cohort of educators were affected by budgetary measures introduced in the aftermath of recession which cut salaries for new entrants.

The vote mirrors the result of the Irish National Teachers Oganisation (INTO) ballot, whose members also rejected the proposals by 53% to 47%. However the measures were approved by the ASTI’s sister union, the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI).

ASTI President Breda Lynch said the union’s members are firmly committed to achieving equal pay for their lower paid colleagues: “ASTI members remain steadfast in their determination to achieve justice for their lower paid colleagues – that is, equal pay for equal work,” she said.

The union took strike action over new recruits pay in 2016. Because of this industrial action members suffered pay losses and penalties.

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The union say that action put unequal pay firmly on the agenda, making it an issue the Government “could no longer ignore”.  It added that the government’s proposal represents insufficient progress and does not achieve equal pay.

The result prompted Labour Spokesperson on Education Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin to call on the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh, to make a new deal to avoid school strikes. 

“Two of the three major teaching unions have now rejected this deal. It is obvious that what is on offer is not satisfactory to the majority of teachers in Ireland,” Senator O’Ríordáin said.

The Minister for Education needs to show leadership and dispatch with formalities, by engaging with unions immediately, in order to prevent industrial chaos.

About the author:

Céimin Burke

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