Today student teachers from the Colleges of Education joined with newly qualified teachers and took to the streets in protest at the threat to teacher allowances. Students Teachers and Newly Qualified Teachers marched to Dáil Eireann in a show of protest at threats to allowances to teachers. The Department of Education suspended payment of allowances to new teachers and others taking up additional posts from February 1st, pending a public service wide review of allowances being conducted by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
A pay cut of 10% coupled with moving new entrants on to the first point of the pay-scale saw new teachers entering the classroom in 2011 receive a salary 14 per cent lower than those starting work before austerity measures were introduced across the public sector. This comes on top of the general public sector pay reduction and pension levy introduced in previous years.
In all, new entrants stand to earn up to 25 per cent less than those who began teaching two years ago. The education sector has been under constant attack right through from the Fianna Fail led government until now, exposing the myth that a Fine Gael-Labour government meant a move away from the old way. This government have continued to pursue the failed austerity politics of the previous government.
Speaking today Richard Boyd Barrett TD, United Left Alliance spokesperson on Education said: “It is an utter disgrace that having decimated the salaries of young teachers over the last 4 years that the government again threatens the pay of newly qualified teachers “The clear lesson from yesterday’s climb-down by the Minister of Education, Ruairi Quinn on disadvantaged school cuts is that people power works. Today will see many young teachers take to the streets in anger at these proposals.”
There is a growing anger against this government over the attacks in education. The student teacher protest marks another significant stand against the government’s austerity agenda, which seeks to punish ordinary workers to pay for the unsustainable gambling debts of the bankers and bondholders”.