English language school teachers suffer ’serious deficiencies’ says Unite spokesman

English Language School teachers have said that they love their job but it is impossible to stay in the sector long term because of a lack of regulation.

The Unite trade union is briefing Oireachtas members today on concerns over the industry, where the majority of schools are privately run.

The union’s Roy Hassey says zero-hour contracts or no contracts at all are common, along with huge variations in pay.

"There’s roughly about 120 schools in Ireland, there’s up 1,800 teachers employed in this sector.

"The sector is massive, it’s worth almost €2bn to the Irish economy every single year. So many schools are hugely profitable, they’re all private and we need the Government and the Minister for Education to step in and regulate this industry," he said.

The teachers also claim that banks ’laugh at them’ when they explain their contracts.

Mr Hassey has said the Government has already managed to bring in regulation for the industry but there should be more attention paid to workers’ rights.

"We’ve issues around bogus staff employment, over-use of fixed term contracts, fewer hour contracts and that’s come across one school that has forty teachers and every single teacher in the school at a zero hour contract.

"There are also issues around low pay, no sick pay, no holiday pay, issues for them not being paid for all their hours. There are some serious, serious deficiencies in terms of employment situation within this sector," he said.

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