News & Media

New Govt must level playing field for teachers

4 February 2020

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade

Labour Party General Election candidate for Dublin Bay North and Education spokesperson, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has come out in full support of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) strike today against the discriminatory two-tier pay system.

Senator Ó Ríordáin said:
“It is shameful that teachers have been driven to embark on industrial action after years of Government failure to act on this issue of blatent inequality.

“False promises from Minister for Education, Joe McHugh last April to address teacher and lecturer pay discrimination has proven yet again that Fine Gael cannot be trusted to deliver pay equity.

“Labour has committed to ending the current two-tier pay injustice for teachers in its manifesto and said it will be a priority for them in the upcoming public sector pay negotiations for 2021.

“This needs to be urgently addressed, not just to level the playing field for younger staff and new entrants, but to keep this highly qualified workforce in the country.

“As it stands, teachers feel they are being driven out of Ireland due to better prospects elsewhere. We need to treat our workers with the respect they deserve, rather than drive them overseas in pursuit of better terms and conditions.

“In addition to this, paying colleagues different wages to carry out the same job is detrimental to workplace morale, which has been proven by the recruitment and retention crisis in the sector.

“There is a very similar issue with the antiquated two-tier pay system for school secretaries and other non-teaching school staff, which Labour has also committed to rectifying.

“It must be an absolute priority for the next government to take urgent action on these issues and Labour are the ones who can deliver.”