Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Thomas Byrne has welcomed the establishment of the Public Sector Pay Commission and expressed his hope that the Commission will recognise the particular role of teachers in the long term economic development of the country.

Deputy Byrne commented, “The Public Sector Pay Commission was a key demand of Fianna Fáil in the Confidence and Supply Arrangement negotiations.  While most unions have accepted the Lansdowne Road agreement, clearly there is also a need for an approach for the medium and long term.

“It is my sincere hope that the Public Sector Pay Commission will recognise the particular value of teaching in society, at whatever level of education.  I also expect that it will be a pointer to a positive and attractive future for the profession.

“Fianna Fáil has 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.

“For teacher unions within the Lansdowne Road Agreement, substantial progress has already been made on restoring pay for newly qualified teachers and I will be asking the Public Sector Pay Commission to ensure that full pay equality is secured.

“I would hope that the ASTI sees some possibility of taking part in the Lansdowne Road process and that their members may also rightly benefit from the deal.

“In my view, this could be a constructive path to settling industrial relations issues now evident in sectors of the profession,” concluded Deputy Byrne.