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One third of secondary teachers are on part-time contracts

But that could be about to change.

Image: Education

AN EXPERT GROUP established as part of the Haddington Road agreement has made a ruling that will see teachers on part-time contracts able to keep their jobs after two years of service.

As it stands, teachers can be hired on part-time contracts and kept on those contacts for three years. However, the expert group has today ruled that that period be shortened to two years.

Under the ruling, teachers can now qualify for a contract of indefinite duration (CID) after two years of service, allowing them to hold their hours on a permanent basis. Teachers unions say it will come as a boon to young teachers, half of whom are on part-time contracts.

Unions say this means they “apply for fragments of jobs with no guarantee of being retained from year to year”.

The ruling has been welcomed by both the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI).

TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann said it would make life easier for students.

“As a result of casualisation of the profession, students are often taught a particular subject by a succession of teachers over the course of their Junior Cycle.

Today’s breakthrough will go a long way to dealing with this problem and providing teachers with viable career paths.

“It is a significant step in the right direction. We will continue to vigorously campaign for a return to the sound, educationally-valid practice of making initial teacher appointments on a permanent basis.”

ASTI’s Pat King said the key was security for teachers.

“The new system will afford teachers job security. It will also ensure that the profession remains attractive to graduates of a very high calibre.”

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan also welcomed the ruling.

“This reform will represent a significant improvement in the job security and stability of employment for existing and future young teachers. Ultimately, this will benefit not only individual teachers, but our education system as a whole.”

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