Wednesday, 11 April 2012

1,500 teachers earn €85k to €115k a year - Irish Examiner

No golden apples for guessing who the main beneficiaries of Ireland's education system are.   Teachers.  

Despite falling literacy levels and a failure to keep up with Ireland's changing demographic needs, Ireland's teachers still think they are worth amongst the highest salaries in Europe.  If not the highest, full stop - I am sure someone can illuminate on that one.  

You'll hear much righteous indignation emanating from various teachers' union conferences this week, on the need to preserve "standards" in Irish education (for that read their pay, long holidays and unsackable positions).  

There will be some lip service paid to the scandalous cutbacks in special needs tuition and traveller education, but the main focus will be preserving the Croke Park Agreement and their archaic system of allowances  (€3,063 for teaching in the Gaeltacht, for example.  Árd Teastas Gaeilge - a higher diploma in Gaelic for teachers - brings in an extra €1,236.  A teacher with a master's degree gets a €5,496 "allowance"). 

It seems that Ireland's teachers remain insulated in a bubble of unreality.   And we know what eventually happens to bubbles.

 Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, Monday, April 09, 2012

About 1,500 teachers earn between €85,000 and €115,000 a year, Department of Education figures have revealed.

At their annual union conferences this week, teachers will insist the Government meet its commitment under the Croke Park deal to protect teachers’ pay, including allowances.

Delegates to the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, and Teachers’ Union of Ireland gatherings will also be seeking a reversal of cuts to schools and teacher numbers.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has repeatedly said he has little choice but to impose cuts to services and school programmes when about 80% of his €8.5bn-plus annual budget is expended on staff pay and pensions. More than 90% of the schools’ non-capital budget goes on pay and about 6% on running costs.

Figures obtained by the Irish Examiner show the averagely paid teacher earns €55,000-€60,000, with a higher proportion of second-level teachers in the higher pay brackets.

More than one-in-three primary teachers and 43% of those working at second level earn at least €61,000 a year.

Just over half of all teachers earn between €41,000 and €61,000 a year, through a combination of salary and various allowances.

Recent figures from Mr Quinn’s department showed the pay of Ireland’s 60,000-plus teachers is boosted by an average €10,000 a year in allowances.

These make up about €600m of the annual teachers’ pay bill of over €3.5bn, and are being reviewed as a public sector-wide review of allowances and additional payments.

Every teacher is paid at least one allowance in respect of their qualifications. They cost over €275m last year but changes to pay for new teachers may see that fall significantly.

However, unions insist all allowances are an integral part of their members’ pay.

Long-serving teachers who work as principals or deputy principals in large schools can earn close to €100,000, with management allowances of almost €40,000-€42,500 paid to principals of second-level schools with more than 40 teachers.

ASTI general secretary Pat King said allowances for principals and other management posts were key to the rate of pay for those jobs.

"ASTI members signed up to and are fully compliant with the Croke Park Agreement which protects their pay," he said.

"We will consider any reduction in their pay to be a breach of the agreement by the Government."

A spokeswoman for Mr Quinn said he was aware of the difference between teachers’ allowances as an understood part of their pensionable pay, and allowances paid in other elements of the public sector.

"He is making that case to the review by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform," she said.


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Young Ireland said...

I knew that teachers were well-paid, but I didn't think they were THAT well paid. Well done for highlighting this, Gombeen Man, and those earning such obscene salaries should be made to take a pay cut.

(BTW, glad you liked my article on the GAA :) )

The Gombeen Man said...

You're welcome! Very good it was too.

And speaking of powerful interest groups... the GAA. Stop the lights before I get going!!

John said...

The average for a UK univiersty lecturer with a Doctorate and a record of published research is about £35K. per year. With 25 per cent of young Irish men , according to Ruiri Quinn, are
functionally illiterate, it sums up the teaching in this country.

Anonymous said...

Where do the TUI get their money from? Just pondering this as I know for a fact that at their annual conference last year, teachers brought husbands/wives and children down to a hotel in Clare for 4 nights, full board, all paid for by the TUI???? This year, they are doing the same in Wexford. I seriously doubt that teachers would up sticks and head off for 4 days if it was comign out of their own pockets. Expenses money is paid too I know. Stories are that one chairperson decided to keep an eye on costs, as she didn't want a public investigation into TUI finances for fear that they may become another FAS..interesting???

Anonymous said...

"...about 80% of his €8.5bn-plus annual budget is expended on staff pay and pensions. "

If that's accurate, it's obscene. Another enormous milch cow fed by all and enjoyed by a few. Surely the budget itself tells the story: Department of Education? No; a money laundering operation: a corrupt pension fund using schools as a front for laundering tax revenues.


Anonymous said...

Usual right-wing propoganda.

Read the article.

It is deliberately inflammatory. These are not TEACHERS. They are PRINCIPALS.
It's like government employees are earning hundreds of thousands when it actually refers to the Taoiseach.

Anonymous said...

it is a very interesting and informative article. I think I will add your site to my favorites.

The Gombeen Man said...

I don't think it is right-wing propaganda".

The article clearly states who gets what. I assume it considers principals headteachers.

And did another commenter not point out that highly qualified uni lecturers in the UK are on about £35k?

Dakota said...

Get the feeling a lot of TEACHERS voted for FG in the last election GM. They might as well have voted FF. I suppose they can appreciate that now? Anyways, their next batch of rote learners are chomping at the bit already GM, to regurgitate their vast knowledge on all things academic. THAT'S WORTH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, HUH? Lots and lots of very BRIGHT, AUTOMATONS...Ahem INDIVIDUALS to be unleashed on a very deserving Republic? Oh Happy Days...They are all VERY INTELLIGENT you know?

Ah yes they dream of downing a vat of beer and staggering down Grafton Street, filling the gutter with their remaining regurgitatings - after the exams - don't you know?

As for the paragons of national educational prowess GM? Lackeys, in a game of legal nastiness whereby the atmosphere (all atmosphere, nothing technically illegal mind) is created by those highter up and these geniuses (THEY ARE ALL VERY INTELLIGENT, IRISH GENIUSES, EVERYONE OF THEM!)inculcate the next cohort to fill the next que at the labour, airport or traffic jam.
They're only doing their job mind, all above board, but oh so very Irish(emmm,like greasy squid).

Maybe the spalpeens on the tear down Grafton Street bringing thither emesis, possibly, just possibly, down deep, know and understand how thoroughly rotten this country is. Then again maybe NOT.