Last week Elaine Devlin, who is is the ASTI representative for Louth, Cavan and Meath spoke to the Dundalk Democrat about the cutbacks faced by teachers and the unions’ plans for industrial action.
“Teachers are seen as an easy target and they have never felt so undervalued.
“These pay cuts are destroying our young teachers and there is a decline in the number of students choosing teaching as a career on the CAO,” said Elaine, who teaches maths in the De La Salle.
“We are not attracting the calibre of student that can teach well and teaching is no longer looked upon as a potential career.
“A lot of our younger teachers are only on salaries of 6-12,000 euros a year and 33 per cent of them are part time.
“It has turned into a culture of hours and not jobs, most the schools around town have to turn young teachers away because they don’t have the hours. Teaching is no longer a job for life.”
Elaine said that all teachers will be taking industrial action in September if the government decides to go ahead with pay cuts.
“If they decide to cut pay then they are breaching the Croke Park Agreement that there would be no implication to teachers pay before June 2014.
“If they decide to go back on the agreement then we may take back some of the things we agreed to back, such as parent/teacher meetings outside school hours.”
However Elaine urged parents not to worry that the Junior and Leaving Cert exams will go ahead as planned this June.