Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD has urged Minister Bruton to commit to achieving pay equality for new entrants to the teaching profession.

Deputy Byrne said, “Currently new entrants to the teaching profession do not receive the same allowances as longer serving teachers. This is having an impact on morale within schools as new teachers feel disillusioned as they are receiving different levels of pay compared to their colleagues.

“The current situation simply cannot be justified. Minister Bruton needs to make a clear statement outlining his commitment to achieving pay equality for new teachers. There must be a focus on equalising pay for new entrants in any future pay negotiations and this is something which should be examined by the Public Service Pay Commission.

“While newly qualified teachers who are members of the TUI/INTO, the unions that have entered into the Lansdowne Road Agreement, will benefit from the restoration of NQT allowances for worth on average €3,400 per annum from Sept 2017, we believe there should be a focus on fully equalising pay for new entrants in new pay round agreements. Fianna Fail pushed hard for this agreement to happen and it represents partial progress which needs to continue.

“I’m also concerned about the growing number of teachers who are relying on temporary casual contracts. They are finding it difficult to secure permanent employment and this is having an adverse impact on their careers. This is having a knock on effect on our schools and is putting young people off of pursuing a career in teaching.

“Fianna Fáil insisted on the establishment of a Public Service Pay Commission to deal with issues surrounding pay and conditions. It’s imperative that the commission examines pay and conditions for new entrants to the public service, including teachers. Minister Bruton needs to give a commitment that he is working to achieve pay equality for new teachers,” concluded Deputy Byrne.