Teachers' union to ballot members in September over cost-of-living crisis

The Teacher's Union of Ireland will be balloted in September on either an improved pay deal or on a co-ordinated campaign of industrial action.
Teachers' union to ballot members in September over cost-of-living crisis

Kenneth Fox

The Teacher's Union of Ireland (TUI) has announced that will hold a national ballot in September around an improved pay proposal urgently required by Government to address cost-of-living crisis

They confirmed its previously stated position that its members will be balloted in September on either an improved pay deal or on a co-ordinated campaign of industrial action with the other public sector unions should such a deal not be forthcoming.

The Union, which represents 20,500 members, has urged Government to return to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) with an improved proposal that appropriately addresses the current cost-of-living crisis that is having such a significant negative effect on the lives of Irish workers and their families.

They also highlighted the current situation is even worse for those appointed after 2011 who are affected by pay discrimination.

Speaking about the announcement, TUI president Liz Farrell said: “All over the country, public sector workers are struggling to meet financial commitments and the situation is continuously worsening.

"Inflation has spiralled in the months since the review clause of the current public service pay deal was triggered, so any proposed pay increases must appropriately address the resulting severe cost-of-living crisis that is having such a detrimental effect on society.

She called what has been offered to date by Government as "simply inadequate" and their failure to further engage has been "extremely frustrating."

Ms Farrell said: “Separately, for those teachers appointed since 2011, this cost-of-living crisis has been exacerbated by the pay discrimination that has seen them paid at a lower rate than their colleagues for carrying out the same work.

"Pay discrimination has also greatly contributed to a teacher recruitment and retention crisis in schools. Even after commencing employment, most second level teachers struggle financially for several years on contracts of low hours."

A survey of their membership earlier this year showed that 65 per cent of teachers appointed after 2011 did not get a contract of full hours upon initial appointment, which means that for several years, they only earn a fraction of a full salary.

She said teachers must be provided with secure jobs of full hours and the remaining elements of pay discrimination must be resolved as a matter of urgency.

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