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This Inequality is Unjust, Unfair, Outrageous, Demeaning

I graduated in 2011. I have been subject to the income cuts of 2011 and the revised incremental salary scale.

 

My fellow post 2011 graduates and I are not only outraged about these cuts, but we are also   genuinely concerned about our future in the public sector. After graduating from college, we struggled to find work. Some of us are still desperately seeking employment. We don’t debate that cuts had to happen in every sector of our economy during the recession. What we do find hard to swallow is the fact that our generation was specifically targeted to take these hits to our basic income. We were targeted when we were in college and had no voice.

 

I am 28 years of age. I have been working since 2011. I am on the 4th point of my incremental salary scale. My salary is €31, 972.

 

My friend and colleague is also 28 years of age. She teaches in the classroom next to mine.  We eat at the staff table together. She started teaching pre 2011. She is on the 4th point of her incremental salary scale. Her salary is €34,113.

 

When both my friend and I are on the 12th point of the scale, her salary will be €46,844. My salary will be €43, 612.

 

Surely I don’t have to highlight the discrepancy here. I have studied the revised scales. They will continue to affect post 2011 teachers until we reach the 19th point of the revised salary scale.

 

The teachers who entered teaching after February 2012, are being led to believe that they are on quite an attractive pay scale. (Point 4 is €36,576) This is totally misleading as those teachers have been completely cut of any qualification allowance.

 

This inequality is unjust. It is unfair. It is outrageous. It demeans young teachers and makes   us feel lesser than our colleagues that we share a staffroom and a workplace with. No NQT demands an extortionate amount of money from the government.  We simply believe that as teachers who have trained and worked hard to get where we are now, we deserve equal pay   for the equal work we do.

 

We do not pay 70% of our taxes, or 80% of our teaching council registration, or 90% of our INTO membership. So why do we get less than 100% of income due to us?

 

In February, the INTO is going to vote on industrial action with regards to posts of responsibility and school self-evaluation. We wholeheartedly applaud this stand. However, it begs the question- Where is the sense of urgency for the question of equal pay? We want solidarity. We want equal pay for equal work.

 

What is our union going to do to help us achieve this?

I would be very grateful if you could advise me on some issues as well as answer some questions I have on the matter.

 

  1. What is my union doing for me and my fellow post 2011 graduates about the unfair and unequal pay?
  2. I have been hearing that the union is working hard for the restoration of equal pay for members, but I have not seen any proof.
  3. In relation to the upcoming ballot in February on industrial action- how does this specifically help our young teacher today who is more concerned with being treated equal to their colleague and receiving equal pay?
  4. I understand the ASTI and TUI are working hard towards a restoration of equal pay and considering strike with the forthcoming elections. My question is why is the INTO not doing more for its members in this regard?
  5. I have a 4th year student teacher teaching in my classroom at the moment and this student, along with her fellow student teachers, is blissfully unaware of the inequality and unfair treatment that awaits her when she enters the workforce next year.

 

Surely the INTO should be working harder for its future members to highlight this unequal pay scale.

 

We call for congress to

  1. declare and implement a course of action in regard to pay equalization and remuneration for post 2011 entrants.
  2. stand in solidarity with NQTs and protest the income gap to government officials and relevant ministers.
  3. renegotiate equal terms for NQTs in public service agreements.
  4. campaign on behalf of NQTs and demand that the government compensate NQTs for the inadequacies of pay scales since 2011.

 

I refer to the aims and objectives of the INTO

  • To unite and organize the teachers of Ireland and to provide a means for the expression of their collective opinion on matters affecting the interest of education and of the teaching profession.
  • To safeguard and improve the conditions of employment of its members, and to promote their interests.
  • To regulate the relations between members and their fellow members, and between members and their employers.
  • To promote the principle of equality in all aspects of education and the teaching profession.

 

I will be attending the branch meeting this coming Thursday. Will you be attending yours?

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