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Teachers Union of Ireland will be 'strongly' advising its members to reject new public pay deal

Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath published the details of the public pay deal today.

Image: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) has recommended to its almost 20,000 members that it shouldn’t accept the Government’s proposed new public-service agreement.

This is the first public service agreement that has offered pay increases in over ten years.

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath published the details of the draft deal this afternoon. The proposed agreement will cost €906m over three budgetary years.

The TUI said that when its 21-member executive decided that they would be “strongly advocating” that its members reject the proposals, it recognised the severe financial difficulties caused by the pandemic to so many working people.

However, ten years on from the imposition of cuts to ‘new entrant’ pay, the Union could not recommend acceptance of proposals that would continue to see our colleagues paid lesser rates of pay for carrying out identical work.

The union said there is a “recruitment and retention crisis” among secondary-school teachers due to this pay inequality.

A survey carried out in over 130 secondary schools earlier this year showing that in the past 12 months, 77% of these schools had advertised positions to which nobody applied.

TUI President Martin Marjoram said:

Regrettably, the limited measures contained in this proposed agreement will not end the ongoing scandal of pay discrimination for second level teachers employed on or after 1 January 2011 and the proposed agreement does not address it at all for the other recruitment grades in which TUI represents members.

“Even with this proposed agreement, the largest pay discrimination would still occur in the early years of employment. New entrants to second level teaching would still earn €6,500, or 15%, less upon appointment than someone who entered the profession prior to 2011.

“The loss in career earnings would still be over €80,000,” he said.

Over 19,000 TUI members will be balloted on the proposals in the New Year.

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‘Affordable pay adjustments’

Cabinet approved the draft public pay deal today. Minister McGrath noted that the terms of the proposed public pay deal were the outcome of “a difficult and complex negotiation process” with Department officials, the Workplace Relations Commission, and unions.

This Agreement acknowledges this contribution and provides for affordable pay adjustments weighted toward those on lower incomes.

“Significantly, from the Exchequer perspective, these pay adjustments are phased with implementation commencing later in 2021.”

The Minister concluded: “As public servants engage in ballots in the coming weeks on whether to accept these proposals, I hope they will consider all of these elements, which offer security and reward for their continued commitment to serving our citizens.”

The public service agreement is called ’Building Momentum: A New Public Service Agreement 2021-2022′ .

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