Delegates attending the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland annual convention have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a ballot on industrial action regarding equal pay for newly-qualified teachers. The motion called for a ballot unless the union’s concerns are addressed by the end of August.
Lower pay scales introduced by the government during the economic crisis mean that new entrants to the teaching profession are paid over 20 per cent less than their more experienced colleagues. According to one speaker at the ASTI convention, this discrepancy is a “creeping cancer” that is causing conflict between teachers.
Meanwhile, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland General Secretary John MacGabhann, speaking at the TUI annual conference in Killarney, has accused the government of treating newly-qualified teachers as “galley slaves”. The TUI already has a mandate from members for industrial action on low pay.