ASTI calls for end to teacher pay disparity after Mary Mitchell O'Connor comments

The ASTI union has said that pay disparity in the profession has been allowed continue for far too long.

The union has welcomed comments from Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor saying she believes in equal pay for equal work - including for teachers.

The former school teacher is missing out on €16,000 for her super junior ministry because current legislation only allows for it to be paid to two people.

Asked whether she should get the same as her colleagues at Cabinet, she said: “Everyone who does the same job deserves the same pay.”

When asked whether the same principle should apply for teachers in schools, she responded: “‘I’m very cognisant of the issues around the younger teachers. There are many people paid differently in staff rooms, they become more senior and get paid more money.”

When pressed on whether teachers deserved equal pay for equal work, Ms Mitchell-O’Connor said: “Well, I think they do and I am going to stand by that. That is my comment.”

ASTI President Ger Curtin says they are taking Minister Mitchell O'Connor at her word, and her cabinet colleagues should too.

"Mary Mitchell O'Connor is not just any super junior Minister," he said.

"Up until a couple of months ago, Mary Mitchell O'Connor was a senior Cabinet Minister.

"She is also a super-junior at the moment, and she has been a school principal, so her comments about everyone doing the same job deserves the same pay carries a serious amount of weight.

"I don't think Government Ministers speak off the hoof."

Additional reporting by Juno McEnroe.

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