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One-in-four second-level teachers on less than full hours

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland has said that “increasing casualisation” of the profession is making it more difficult for teachers to secure full hours.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE “INCREASING CASUALISATION” of the teaching profession has led to less hours for teachers, a union has claimed.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has warned that increasing casualisation “is making it more and more difficult for teachers to secure full hours and permanency”.

The union said it believes that the “uncertain nature of employment will ultimately force the best young graduates to emigrate to teach in other jurisdictions or to consider more secure employment options”.

Salary

TUI said today that over a quarter of its members at second level earn a salary based on less than full hours.

TUI Deputy General Secretary Annette Dolan said:

Where once second level teachers applied for permanent jobs, now they apply for hours. Regrettably, it has become the norm in recent times for young teachers to start out on small numbers of hours with no guarantee of their services being retained the following year.

She added that the union is worried that the best young graduates will begin to see teaching as a career choice where there is no real level of security, and that some may consider other career choices because of this.

Permanency

The TUI said that for people  entering the teaching profession after a training period of five years,  it estimates that it takes an average of a further five years to secure a level of permanency.

Even then, this is often on small numbers of hours that see them earning considerably less than the average industrial wage.

Up to this they typically work on short-term contracts on part-time hours covering for teachers on leave of absence “with no guarantee that they will be retained by their school in the following year”, said the TUI.

The TUI said that “their struggle to meet basic financial commitments is a very real one” and that there is a misconception that all teaching jobs are full-time and secure.

The cut to guidance counselling provision will see the equivalent of a further 700 full-time teaching posts taken out of the second level system in  September, said the union.

It concluded that it is seeking that a system be put in place whereby teachers after a certain number of years on fixed term contracts get full time permanent jobs rather than remaining on Contracts of Indefinite Duration (CIDS) on less than full hours.

It is also urging the Government to commit to insulating the education system from further cutbacks with appropriate investment.

Read: VIDEO: Teacher of the Year criticises the “injustice” of system and “teacher-bashing”>

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