Teachers’ pay policy reversal is justified

THE decision to end pay inequity among teachers is to be welcomed. 

The two-tier scheme is a legacy issue from our economic implosion and must be addressed. The deal announced yesterday reverses an emergency necessity that meant recruits were expected to do the same work as their older colleagues but for lower pay. This hardly made a classroom career as attractive as it should be.

This reversal means that the principle will, in time, be applied right across the public sector. It may mean however that those enjoying the higher rates today may have to wait until parity prevails before they get any new pay rises — a sacrifice established public employees will undoubtedly accept in the name of equity.

The policy change came as an OECD report pointed out that Government spending on students fell during the recession and is lower than most OECD countries. Education at a Glance 2016 found “expenditure per student in primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education systems has fallen by 7% compared with 2008 levels, while on average across the OECD expenditure per student had increased by 8%”. The report said pay for novice teachers was lower than the OECD average but rises “significantly” above it once teachers have worked for 15 years. This society values education and recognises that, as resources become available, there can hardly be a better investment.


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