Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has called on the Government to set out a clear pathway to achieve pay equality for new teachers.
Deputy Cowen made the comments as the Dáil prepares to debate a Fianna Fáil Private Members Business motion calling on the Minister for Education to take the steps necessary to resolve the growing teacher shortage crisis impacting Irish schools.
Deputy Cowen said, “It has been apparent for some time now that our schools are finding it more and more challenging to obtain and retain the right teachers, with the right subject combinations to ensure that all students can take the subjects of their choosing."
“Ongoing pay inequality for new entrants to the teaching profession has resulted in a recruitment and retention crisis for teachers and there are also major difficulties for schools in securing substitute teachers when required. The shortage of teachers is already having an adverse impact on our education system. Students are unable to enrol in subjects they had planned to study and school principals are finding it difficult to find substitute teachers when needed," he continued.
“Fianna Fáil has been highlighting the need for pay equality to resolve the teacher shortage crisis for some time now. Our Education Spokesperson has raised the matter in the Dáil and we also pressed an amendment to the Public Service Pay& Pension Act 2017 which requires a report on public sector pay equalisation costs to be published in the next three months. This will help set out a clear pathway for achieving pay equality for new teachers," Cowen said.
“I will continue to press this matter with the Government until it is satisfactorily resolved. It is important that there is equality for new entrants to the public sector, including teachers. This will help resolve the ongoing teacher shortage crisis and ensure our schools are adequately staffed in the years ahead,” concluded Deputy Cowen.
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