INTO slams 1% pay offer for teachers as an ‘insult to the teaching profession’
By Eleanor McGillie
THE Northern Secretary for the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) has described today’s pay rise offer for teachers as an ‘insult to the profession’ and said the ‘derisory’ offer is a pay cut in real terms.
Gerry Murphy said the INTO is disgusted at the severe lack of regard shown for teachers in Northern Ireland and said Department of Education officials have shown very poor judgement throughout the negotiation process which has been ongoing since July 2015.
A meeting last night (Thursday) between INTO representatives and Department of Education officials broke up without any agreement.
Mr Murphy, who is also the salary spokesman for The Northern Ireland Teachers Council (NITC), said: “Let’s all face the facts here. This one per cent pay increase offer represents an extra £20 per month for a newly qualified teacher which really equates to around 66p per day. It represents an extra £30 per month for a teacher with 12 plus years’ experience, which equates to around an extra £1 per day. To add insult to that injury – in return they must say goodbye to their contractual right to automatic movement on the pay scale.
“These are the people who educate our children – the next generation workforce. But teachers are seeing their workloads increasing and their support services are being cut from under them. Teachers deserve a pay increase which reflects their efforts and contribution to society. No-one else working in education is being put under such unfair conditions. This pay offer is an insult to the profession.
“Newly qualified teachers who earn £23,000 per year will be starting to pay off their student loans which could amount to £30,000 and they’re being offered an extra 66p per day?”
Mr Murphy said the offer of one per cent was made subject to teachers giving up their right to automatic incremental progression.
He said: “This is the last straw for INTO in what has been a prolonged and difficult negotiation between the unions and department officials.
“We brought forward proposals in July 2015, negotiations did not commence until December 2015 and then each proposal was rejected by the employers – not on its merits but on the issue of cost alone. What teachers are now being offered is one per cent with strings attached.
“Others will dress this pay offer up as an offer of 2.13 per cent. The reality, however, for every serving teacher in school today, is that when you take into account factors such as increased national insurance and pension costs, the proposed uplift won’t even cover these additional costs. In real terms this is a pay cut.
“This pay offer is derisory for INTO – the Rubicon has been crossed. Teachers now know exactly what those who manage the education system believe should be their reward for educating our children.
“This issue will no doubt feature prominently at our Northern Conference which takes place on March 4 and 5. The INTO will continue our campaign for better conditions for our members.”
NOTES TO EDITOR:
- INTO is the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation. It is the largest teachers’ union in Ireland. INTO has a Northern Office and a Southern Office. The Northern Office is based at Vere Foster House, 23 College Gardens, Belfast.
- For interview requests or further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379| Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts | PR Northern Ireland | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Education PR Northern Ireland