Carol Nolan TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills, Carol Nolan, has said that the education sector is facing into another period of unrest as the Government has failed to tackle key issues affecting teacher’s pay. Nolan was speaking in the Dáil last night in the debate on FEMPI legislation.
Teachta Nolan said: “We do not wish to see FEMPI scrapped overnight - we recognise that this would completely eradicate any possibility of investing in critical public services, such as health, housing and education."
“More fundamentally, we recognise that the scrapping of FEMPI measures overnight would be unfair," Nolan claimed.
“Those earning €185,000 would see a gain of €53,000 while someone on an income of €25,000 would receive €66," she added.
“However, what we do wish to see is the immediate repeal of the powers that the Ministers gave themselves in respect of public sector pay."
“Sinn Féin believes that those on middle and low incomes should be prioritised in any pay negotiations. I share the concerns of my colleagues that the current agreement will again favour higher earners and I await details of the final agreement, which I hope will be available without delay."
“The other key issue that I think the Government has missed in the negotiations for the new pay agreement is the key issue of Equal Work for Equal Pay," Nolan said.
“As we know, the three teachers unions have signalled their lack of support for the draft agreement as it currently stands as it does not deal with this matter in a meaningful way."
“Teachers represent over one third of the public sector workforce and I simply cannot fathom how the Government did not address this issue. It is the single biggest issue that has caused so much unrest and disruption to the education sector in the past year."
“I think even a firm commitment to the principle of Equal Work and a clear timescale for the delivery of it, would have been sufficient to take much of the heat out of this issue. Instead, parents, students and indeed teachers are now facing into another academic year with the threat of industrial action hanging over them," Nolan concluded.
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