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Teachers' Remuneration

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 5 May 2016

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Questions (101)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

101. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding unequal pay in the teaching profession; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9272/16]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As a consequence of the financial crisis, there was a need to enact a number of measures to reduce public expenditure so as to stabilise the country's public finances. The previous Government decided to reduce the salaries and allowances payable to all new entrants to public service recruitment grades (including teachers) by 10% with effect from 1 January 2011. This decision also required that such new entrants would start on the first point of the applicable salary scale, which in the case of teachers had the effect of reducing their starting pay by a further 4-5%. Later in 2011, the Government placed a cap on the overall level of qualification allowances that could be earned by teachers.

Subsequently in 2012, following the public service-wide review of allowances, the Government withdrew qualification allowances for new teachers altogether. However, the Government partially compensated for this by deciding that new entrant teachers would henceforth commence on a new salary scale which had a starting point higher than the starting point of the old scale. Overall, the removal of qualification allowances had the effect of further reducing the pay of new entrant teachers by between 5 and 7 percent.

The measures above – which applied to new entrants only and which were in addition to the pay reductions imposed on public servants generally - were implemented at a time of extraordinarily difficult financial and budgetary circumstances for the State. It is estimated that some 6,700 teachers who entered the profession since 2011 have been affected by the measures.

The Haddington Road Agreement re-aligned the pay scale for teachers who entered teaching between 1 January 2011 and 31 January 2012 with that of pre-2011 entrants. An improved pay scale for post-1 February 2012 entrants was also agreed and implemented under the terms of that Agreement. The Lansdowne Road Agreement will begin the process of restoring the reductions to public service pay which were implemented over recent years. The flat-rate increases contained in the Agreement are proportionately more favourable to new entrants to teaching (who are lower on the pay scale) than to longer serving teachers.

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