Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has welcomed the agreement between the Department of Education and the INTO / TUI on pay for newly qualified teachers.

Responding to the announcement of the deal Deputy Byrne said, “Fianna Fáil have been clear in articulating our views to the Government that pay inequality for new entrants to the teaching profession cannot be justified and is corroding morale within schools.

“The commitment to examine pay levels across the public service, including entry levels of pay, was a key demand of Fianna Fáil in our discussions on an arrangement to facilitate a minority Government.

“Earlier this summer, Fianna Fáil pushed strongly to ensure the Government began to deal with the issue of newly qualified teachers’ pay.

“We welcomed the announcement of discussions within the Lansdowne Road Agreement. During the summer, I was kept up to date on the progress of negotiations by the unions and offered my strong support to them.

“Thankfully this deal will significantly reduce pay inequality for new teachers. I would hope that the ASTI would see some possibility of taking part in the Lansdowne Road process and that their members may rightly benefit from the deal.

“I acknowledge that newly qualified teachers continue to face difficult challenges despite this agreement. Fianna Fáil will continue to push the Government towards achieving greater progress including equal pay scales.”