2,000 euro pay rise for newly qualified teachers after starting salary cuts
Thousands of newly qualified teachers who suffered massive cuts to starting salaries are to get a 2,000 euro pay rise, the Government has said.
A deal was reached with the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) and the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) after prolonged campaigns to get recent graduates on to similar pay scales as older staff.
The Department of Education said the agreement was based on teachers agreeing to reforms in their work.
The pay rise effectively restores the allowance teachers get for having an honours degree, with the money being paid over two stages - January 1 2017 and again on the same date in 2018.
The INTO described the deal as significant, saying 3,500 teachers who qualified since February 2012 are now in line for a wage hike.
General secretary Sheila Nunan said unequal pay scales had been a priority issue for the union.
"For the first time, teachers who began since 2012 will have the same earnings path as all other teachers and will reach the same maximum point of salary scale," she said.
Ms Nunan said the INTO would continue to work for full pay equality
Rosena Jordan, president of the INTO, added: "Pay inequality is eroding morale and creating discontent. This is a very significant agreement that settles another aspect of unequal pay scales."
Talks with the department have been going on since July.
The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (Asti) is still at odds with the Government over teaching reforms and pay agreements and Education Minister Richard Bruton said: "This agreement shows what is possible through dialogue and negotiation within the Lansdowne Road Agreement."
The TUI said the pay rise was "a very significant step in the right direction in addressing the pay inequality suffered by teachers recruited since February 1 2012".
It said the campaign will continue until full equality is achieved.
The union said: "TUI already holds a mandate for industrial action on the issue of pay equality. We have used this mandate to secure these advances through talks, and the mandate remains should it be required."