Almost 20,000 teachers will take a day’s strike action in February over the ongoing dispute with the Government on pay discrimination.
Members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) voted last month by a margin of 92% to 8% to engage in a campaign of industrial action, up to and including strike action, on this issue.
The Union represents some 19,000 members in second-level schools, colleges of further and adult education and Institutes of Technology/Technological Universities.
The decision to strike was taken by TUI’s Executive Committee, which said that the Union’s efforts to bring the matter to conclusion have been frustrated by Government inaction.
The Union remains open to meaningful engagement with a view to resolving the issue fully.
The Union stated that its campaign has resulted in progress on the matter, but that those teachers employed after January 1, 2011 will still earn some €110,000 less than longer-serving colleagues over the course of a career.
Speaking to The Echo on the issue recently, TUI representative for Cork, Mike Lyons, said the vote results represents “vehement and resounding support” for industrial action to end pay disparity in the sector.
“Ninety-four percent of schools surveyed last year said they were experiencing recruitment and retention difficulties,” he explained.
“Another 68% of schools have vacancies that have been difficult to fill and 47% of schools have advertised posts and received no applications for them.
“There are huge issues in terms of recruitment and retention and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find teachers in STEM, Irish, modern languages, home economics and more,” he added.
Mr Lyons called for a reversal of the cuts which the union claim is impacting recruitment and retention in the sector.
He also called for the restoration of allowance for the Professional Masters in Education and for early year pay disparity in the teaching sector to be reversed.