“Cuts hitting most vulnerable teachers hardest” – says Deputy Jonathan O’Brien
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 leading to increasing levels of income poverty amongst teachers.
The Cork North Central TD was commenting on the plight of teachers who are experiencing significant income poverty as they struggle 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.
“To make matters worse, newly qualified teachers have been targeted with savage cuts to their pay and a loss of allowances that means many are earning less than the average industrial wage. The TUI estimates that the earnings of teachers entering the profession is 22 per cent less than their colleagues starting salary in 2010.
“Clearly therefore, it is vulnerable teachers in fixed-term positions on part-time hours who are bearing the brunt of the government’s cuts and the current situation is unsustainable.
“Education Minister Ruairi Quinn deserves credit for his efforts to reform the Junior Cert cycle but without well motivated and suitably qualified teachers to implement these changes then the reform that is needed to transform our education system will flounder.
“The pay and working conditions of teachers are important issues the Minister can no longer ignore.”