Teacher Conferences: Secondary teachers see themselves in different jobs within 10 years

Nearly one third of second-level teachers who began their careers in the past see themselves in a different job within a decade, a survey for their union has found.

Teacher Conferences: Secondary teachers see themselves in different jobs within 10 years

Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) president Joanne Irwin said that the findings demonstrate the deeply negative effects of reduced pay, which she described as discriminatory, has had on morale.

Since 2011, new entrants to the profession have been on lower pay scales than those whose teaching careers started earlier.

Although TUI and Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) secured some clawback of the cuts last year from the Department of Education, the distinctions continue to be the focus of union campaigns.

A claim to restore a qualifications allowance has been lodged with the Teachers’ Conciliation Council, the profession’s industrial relations forum.

Ahead of its annual congress beginning today in Cork, TUI surveyed more than 813 members and asked those who started teaching from the start of 2011 how likely it is they would still be in the job in 10 years’ time.

While 29% said it was likely, including nearly half who thought it very likely (14%), the same number said they are unlikely to remain as teachers. Of that second 29%, 11% or one-in-nine of the total, thought they were very unlikely to do so.

“Quite clearly, the scandal of pay inequality has had a deeply negative effect on the profession. Progress has been made with the restoration of the honours primary degree allowance,” said Ms Irwin.

“But at a time when schools are struggling to attract teachers for an increasing number of subjects due to more lucrative options in other employments, the process of pay equalisation requires urgent acceleration.”

In the wider profession, 91% of those surveyed said bureaucratic duties regularly eat into their time for teaching.

“The work of teachers has become excessively administrative in nature, with increased focus on what many see as form-filling and box-ticking duties that deflect from the core functions of teaching and learning,” said Ms Irwin.

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