Teachers demand equal pay ahead of schools reopening

School teachers are asking Government to commit to pay equality for teachers ahead of the reopening of schools in September.

Additional teachers are being recruited to help schools reopen safely, with an extra 1,080 second level teachers sought for September.

The Association of Secondary Teachers (ASTI) says there has been a shortage of new second level teachers in recent years, since a new lower pay scale was introduced in 2010 for younger teachers after the recession.

I think everybody is aware that 1,080 jobs must be filled in the schools. There will be an effort to try and find those teachers and if pay was restored, it would certainly make it easier to fill those positions.

ASTI vice president Ann Piggot says the Government will have difficulty filling the new jobs if pay parity isn't implemented: “We would hope that equal pay could be achieved now.

“I think everybody is aware that 1,080 jobs must be filled in the schools. There will be an effort to try and find those teachers and if pay was restored, it would certainly make it easier to fill those positions.”

Ms Piggot says that teachers need more job security: “Teachers need guarantees that the jobs would probably last. They’re not going to return from abroad and other countries if the job only exists for a few months.

"I also think it would be safer as well if teachers weren’t moving from school to school. So sometimes when they’re employed, they’re employed in precious positions where they mightn’t have full hours, they might have seven or eight hours work a week, so teachers need to know that they might have better pay and full hours.”

The teachers’ union says that a commitment to equal pay would indicate the Government is serious about hiring and keeping extra teachers in September.