Strong backing for teacher pay rise, union says

A survey shows there is strong public backing for big pay rises for teachers this year, the Educational Institute and Post Primary Teachers Association say.

Photo: 123rf

The unions are heading into collective agreement bargaining for primary and secondary school teachers this year and today published the results of a survey with 1008 respondents over the age of 20.

Eighty-three percent of the respondents agreed teachers deserved a pay rise, but 15 percent disagreed.

Half of all respondents said teachers should get a moderate pay rise and 25 percent said they should receive a major pay rise. When asked to specify a range, 55 percent of all respondents said teachers should get a pay rise of more than 10 percent.

President of the Educational Institute Lynda Stuart said the results should give the government confidence to boost their members‘ pay this year.

“It‘s really saying the public are backing education,” Ms Stuart said.

“If the government were worried about that, then this should be convincing enough for them to actually go ‘we need to sort this out‘.”

Ms Stuart said the union would ask for a 16 percent increase over two years when it started bargaining for primary teachers next week.

“That is what it‘s going to take. It is going to need to be a significant pay jolt,” she said.

“If we don‘t do this and we don‘t do this now, we are in a really desperate case around whether or not we will have teachers in our classrooms.

“We‘ve got to be able to really attract people into the profession and then keep them there and we can‘t do that at the moment.”

President of the Post Primary Teachers Association Jack Boyle said people understood the need to prioritise government spending and they wanted to focus on education and health.

“This is a very important message to the government headed into their first budget. They need to know the public support them on this,” he said.

Mr Boyle said the government needed to act because the knock-on effects of having too few teachers would be astronomical.