Michael Staines
Michael Staines

16.01 28 Jan 2020


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Four-in-five Irish secondary schools have received no applications after advertising a teaching job, according to a new survey.

The survey of over 130 schools was carried out over the past two months by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI).

The union’s members are striking next Tuesday 4th February to protest what it claims is a “failure to end pay discrimination.”

It has said the current system, which sees teachers hired after 2011 on a different pay-scale to their colleagues hired beforehand, is the “single greatest cause of the teacher supply crisis.”

Recruitment and retention

The survey found that 97% have had trouble recruiting teachers in the past six months – with nearly half experiencing difficulty retaining their current staff.

Meanwhile, 77% have recently advertised jobs only to receive no applications whatsoever – up 9% on similar survey in April of last year.

Meanwhile, 56% say they have been unable to fill vacancies – up 9% on last year.

"Differential pay"

TUI President Seamus Lahart told Newstalk that this latest survey shows the recruitment and retention issue in the sector is getting worse.

“The Government’s efforts to deal with teacher supply are not being answered because they are simply not dealing with the crucial issue – which is the differential pay,” he said.

He said the situation “has an effect on the quality of the education that children are receiving” because schools are left with no option but to reduce options for students and increase class sizes in certain subjects.

FEMPI

The TUI has said the current system means that teachers hired after January 2011 are set to earn around €110,000 less than their longer-serving colleagues over the course of their careers.

It said they will earn over €50,000 less in the first ten years of their careers, “when key life choices are made.”

Next week’s strike will see the union’s 19,000 members downing tools for 24 hours.


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