Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has said he shares the concerns of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) that government cutbacks are increasing levels of income-poverty amongst teachers.
The Cork North Central TD referred to teachers experiencing significant income poverty on temporary contracts in part-time positions.
He continued: “An estimated 30 per cent of second-level teachers are employed on a part-time basis and this is leading to a lack of job security and inadequate working hours.
“Newly qualified teachers have been targeted with savage cuts to their pay and a loss of allowances. Many are earning less than the average industrial wage. The TUI estimates that teachers entering the profession are earning 22 per cent less than the starting salary in 2010.
“Clearly vulnerable teachers in fixed-term positions on part-time hours are bearing the brunt of the government’s cuts and the current situation is unsustainable.
“Education minister Ruairí Quinn deserves credit for his efforts to reform the Junior Cert cycle but without well-motivated and suitably qualified teachers, his reforms will founder.