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'There are always consequences': Minister responds to claim teachers may seek pay rise following recommendation on nurses

The ongoing nurses’ strike was suspended on Monday following a Labour Court recommendation on pay and conditions.

Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

THE TEACHERS’ UNION of Ireland says it will consider this week’s Labour Court recommendation on nurses’ pay as it aims to end pay inequality among its members.

An ongoing nurses’ strike was suspended on Monday after the court intervened to recommend changes to their salary scale and allowances.

The deal is set to cost an additional €10-€15 million this year, with additional costs of €30-35 million in 2020, and members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation are expected to vote on it in coming weeks.

Following the recommendation, TUI president Seamus Lahart said the union would analyse the recommendation in the context of a campaign to end the difficulties schools are facing in employing teachers.

“Pay inequality has led to a crisis of teacher recruitment and retention in second level schools,” he said.

“The number applying for places on the Professional Master of Education (PME), required to teach at second level, collapsed by over 50% between 2011 and 2018.”

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One this morning, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe responded to reports that teachers and gardai could consider industrial action over pay following the Labour Court recommendation.

“In any decision that I make, there are always consequences of it and things that other unions may or may not do,” he said.

Donohoe also pointed to the “great value” in having a collective public service pay agreement, adding that decisions by garda and teachers’ unions to consider the Labour Court recommendation would be done at their own discretion.

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