Lunchtime protests take place in Limerick over teacher pay inequality

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

John Costigan and Des Carroll, members of TUI flank fellow lecturers on a lunchtime protest in the Limerick Institute of Technology

John Costigan and Des Carroll, members of TUI flank fellow lecturers on a lunchtime protest in the Limerick Institute of Technology

TEACHERS across Limerick staged a lunchtime protest outside various schools and colleges over the issue of pay inequality.

Members of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) staged protests lasting ​around 20 minutes last Thursday.

It comes after the union took a decision not to accept the Public Sector Service Stability Agreement 2018 to 2020.

TUI feels that the agreement does not secure a “fair and sustainable” resolution to the issue of pay inequality for staff appointed after New Year’s Day 2011.

“The purpose of the protest is to highlight the damage that pay inequality is inflicting on our schools/colleges and centres.

“Undermining the teaching profession and corroding morale inevitably impairs the quality of service to students. In this regard, TUI have met with the national parents’ council, post primary, which has indicated broad support for our protest and an understanding of our campaign for pay equality,” a spokesperson for the union said.

They timed the lunchtime protests outside secondary schools, colleges and ITs to ensure services to students were not affected.

Emergency legislation introduced at the height of the recession six years ago saw the starting salary for a newly-qualified secondary school teacher cut by €6,000 down to €36,000 per year.

It means that teachers and lecturers who entered the profession since are being paid less than their colleagues for the same work.

Last week, Education Minister Richard Bruton expressed concerns about the rising number of teachers on career breaks.