Teachers' unions expected to join forces over pay restoration

Three unions will debate whether to ballot their members on the possibility of coordinating strike action

Teachers' unions expected to join forces over pay restoration

Richard Bruton. Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated 12.55

All three teachers unions are expected to join forces for the restoration of pay, and are threatening strike action if it’s not achieved.

The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) and the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) begin their annual conferences today, where pay is set to dominate.

Union members want teachers who qualified after 2011 to be on the same wages as those that qualified before them.

A recent report on public sector pay said restoring pay parity across the public service would cost €200m.

Teachers’ unions want a time-frame for that by May - and, if not, the three unions representing 70,000 teachers could go on strike.

Conferences

The TUI will decide later whether to join forces with its sister unions the ASTI and the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) in demanding restoration of pay for newer teachers.

Last night, both the INTO and the ASTI agreed that they would debate the emergency motion calling for talks on pay inequality with a roadmap for when it might be achieved.

The TUI is discussing the motion today, but it already has a mandate from its members for strike action if pay is not restored.

This afternoon all three unions will debate whether to ballot their members on the possibility of coordinating strike action if the Government fails to resolve the issue of pay parity.

The Education Minister attended the INTO annual congress this morning.

Image: Gail Conway

He says negotiations on pay restoration will have to take place, suggesting: "That is showing goodwill on the Government's side.

"Obviously both sides will have to participate in those discussions, and we'll see where that leads."

Minister Bruton will attend the ASTI conference this afternoon, before visiting the TUI tomorrow.