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Dublin: 6°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Teachers 'know pay negotiations will end up in compromise'

The General Secretary of the INTO said today that two issues of note were higher pay and the supervision allowance.

TEACHERS’ UNIONS KNOW that negotiations on a new public service pay deal will end up in compromise, the general secretary of a teachers’ union said today.

Yesterday, primary teachers voted for strike action if the government cuts their pay. The INTO has 32,000 members in the Republic.

RTÉ reports today that the Association of Secondary School Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has accepted an invitation to enter talks with the Labour Relations Commission on pay, joining the INTO and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland.

Sheila Nunan, General Secretary of the Irish National Teachers Organisation, said today that “from the get-go last January this was always going to be the most challenging set of negotiations facing any and every union across public sector and so it has proved to be”.

She told the Saturday with Claire Byrne show on RTÉ radio that their executive met yesterday and that with “the strong mandate in our back pocket ” they will see what they may be able to leverage in any engagements that will take place on Monday.

Regarding negotiations, Nunan said that teachers “know that negotiations are always going to end up in some sort of a compromise”. She said that whatever the outcome of the negotiations, the government’s commitment to cutting pay for high earners “is going to remain” as a central piece.

She also noted that an item of large significance is the supervision allowance, which she said affects all teachers at a cost of €1,500 – €1,700.

“We will go in on the best interest of our members,” she said. Nunan said that teachers are very clear that if there are unilateral cuts, they will proceed with action, but in the meantime the INTO will see if they can make any further process.

When asked if teachers can afford to go out on strike, she said they have to ask can they afford not to go out on strike.

Read: Primary teachers votes for strike action if government cuts their pay>

Read: Primary teachers’ union won’t recommend how to vote on Croke Park>

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