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Teachers are pushing for a pay rise to counter rising inflation

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Teachers’ unions are increasing pressure for a pay rise to offset the rising cost of living.

Primary school teachers say there must be immediate talks – with a deadline – on an increase.

They also insist on a review mechanism in the next public sector collective agreement that could take into account any significant change in circumstances.

Runaway inflation has put wage demands high on the agenda of the Irish National Teachers’ Organization (INTO) annual conference.

Pay will also be a key issue at the conferences of the two second tier teachers’ unions – the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) – this week.

An emergency motion from INTO on this subject, prepared by the union executive, will be debated today as the first point.

INTO President Joe McKeown said yesterday that “the serious erosion of living standards needed to be addressed urgently by the government, that their demands must be met if industrial harmony is to continue”.

The application itself contains no reference to the risk of industrial unrest.

The other two teachers’ unions could take a more assertive position.

A motion to be debated at the ASTI conference today warns of a possible vote on industrial action if they fail to secure a pay rise for all teachers to stem the rising cost of living.

The vote on industrial action will also be included in a motion on the agenda of the TUI conference.

The INTO motion seeks new wage arrangements to address both immediate inflationary pressures and longer-term needs in both the Republic and Northern Ireland, where INTO also represents primary school teachers.

The motion says inflation in both jurisdictions “far exceeds the modest wage increases secured under the Building Momentum Civil Service Agreement and in Northern Ireland”.

It said immediate talks must be focused and time-limited to “stabilize the current civil service arrangement by addressing unexpected increases in the cost of living.”

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) triggered a review clause in Building Momentum to deal with inflation.

And there was a first meeting with government officials.

Aside from reviewing Building Momentum to deal with inflation, INTO also says that any successor must include a review mechanism to “address any material change in the assumptions underlying the deal.”

It also calls on the union to work closely with other public sector unions to achieve “significant pay rises for members”.

Mr McKeown told the INTO conference yesterday that national wage agreements have provided much-needed stability and security in the most difficult of times.

He said in the bad times “we suffered drastic cuts in wages and cuts in public services” and when the country emerged from recession wage demands were modest as “we tried to do our part in laying secure foundations for sustainable growth Afford”.

Meanwhile, the INTO President said wage increases alone would not solve the housing crisis.

He warned that this could trigger a new exodus of young teachers from Ireland.

Mr McKeown said no recently qualified teacher could now reasonably expect to be able to afford to buy a house in most parts of Ireland.

For many, even a rental apartment is out of reach, he said.

“If we don’t address this critical issue, we will see another exodus of our young and talented teachers.”

He said young teachers are looking for places where “their reasonable aspirations are more likely to be realized.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/teachers-in-push-for-a-pay-rise-to-counter-soaring-inflation-41564667.html Teachers are pushing for a pay rise to counter rising inflation

Fry Electronics Team

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