Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to engage with teachers unions the INTO and the TUI on pay equality for new entrant teachers.

Deputy Byrne commented, “I welcome the acknowledgement today by Minister Paschal Donohoe that there is room for manoeuvre on the issue of pay and allowances for new entrant teachers affiliated to unions that have entered into the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

“This is a matter of fairness and equality.  The current situation is simply unsustainable, whereby teachers in the same staff room are entitled to vastly differing pay scales and allowances.  This is leading to a corrosive atmosphere within schools, and is severely damaging to staff morale.  It is about time that these variants are acknowledged and addressed within the context of the Budget negotiations.

“This is an issue which requires urgent and extensive engagement. Unequal pay for new teachers is discouraging talented individuals from entering the profession.

“The commitment to examine pay levels across the public service, including entry levels of pay, was a key demand of Fianna Fáil in the arrangement to facilitate a minority Government.  We believe there should be a focus on equalising pay for new entrants and we are committed to restoring equality of treatment for new teachers”.