Two-tier pay structure in teaching has caused 'enormous morale problem'

ASTI urges government to reverse pay cuts for new entrants

Two-tier pay structure in teaching has caused 'enormous morale problem'

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The two-tier pay structure in the public sector has created a major morale problem among new teachers, the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland has said.

Kieran Christie, the general secretary of the union, called on the government to reverse pay cuts for recruits who have entered the profession since 2012.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agreed to establish a commission to examine pay levels across the public sector as part of a minority government deal adopted earlier this week.

But the policy priorities set out in the so-called "confidence and supply arrangement" are the terms under which Fianna Fáil will facilitate a Fine Gael-led administration, rather than a programme for government. 

Christie told Newstalk Breakfast that the union intends to "forcefully" put its case to the next education minister. He said it was unfair that teachers doing the same work, sitting side by side in the same staff room, should be paid vastly different salaries. 

The government has faced renewed calls to tackle the public service salary gap from unions across the sector in recent weeks.

A deal agreed yesterday will see new firefighters regain a €4,500 rent allowance that was scrapped in 2012 - the first move of its kind since the election.