Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien, TD, has voiced his support for a protest outside Leinster House at 4.30pm on Wednesday the 24th of October involving the Association of Secondary School Teachers Ireland, (ASTI), the Irish National Teachers Organisation ,(INTO), and the Teaching Union of Ireland (TUI),
Deputy O’Brien said: “The three main Irish Teaching Unions are uniting to protest at the slew of cuts that have had a massively damaging impact on an already underfunded education sector.
“The plight of newly qualified teachers, whose pay and allowances have been cut to unsustainable levels means many are now earning up to 20% less than their colleagues who entered the profession a couple of years earlier. This disparity in pay levels means a significant number of teachers are struggling to make ends meet and many are being forced to emigrate for better paid jobs abroad.
“To compound matters further, the majority of newly qualified teachers are unable to secure decent employment in Ireland with a high percentage employed on short-term or part-time contracts.
“It is perhaps stating the obvious, but if the Government disincentivises people from choosing teaching as a career, and if the moral of teachers is damaged through the imposition of a two-tier pay structure, then all the bold attempts to revamp the delivery of a fit for purpose curriculum will flounder.
“We continually hear that in order create sustainable employment we need to develop a knowledge based economy but rhetoric alone is meaningless unless there is adequate investment in education at second level.
“I would urge people to come out on Wednesday and show their support for our teachers whose role as educators must be valued.”