Fewer full-time jobs means pupils suffer, TUI leader warns
Nearly a third of teachers in secondary schools are now just part-time workers and half of all those teaching aged under 30 do not have a permanent job, a union leader has claimed.
The "crisis of casualisation" is affecting both pupils and teachers as students have to cope with a succession of different teachers in a given subject, Gerry Quinn, president of the Teachers Union of Ireland said.
He described this as unacceptable and damaging to consistency in their education.
The annual teachers' conferences take place this week while schools are on Easter holidays.
"A common but utterly incorrect perception suggests that all Irish teachers are in full-time jobs and secure employment," said Mr Quinn, who will attend the union's annual congress in Wexford today.
"In the second-level system, this bears no resemblance to what has become an increasingly bleak reality, and a similar situation exists in Institutes of Technology. All teachers and lecturers should be allowed to earn a living wage," he said.
"Where once teachers and lecturers applied for full-time, permanent positions, for several years now they have been applying for fragments of jobs with no guarantee of being retained from year to year.
"These teachers experience income poverty, often struggling to make even the most modest of financial commitments.
"To make matters worse, those who entered the profession from 2011 are on a severely cut salary scale," added Mr Quinn.
"Some local employers have sought to exploit the vulnerability of teachers in part-time or temporary employment.
The TUI president said that in some cases, "it is very clear the intention is to create competition for hours between young teachers by splitting jobs into fragments".
Mr Quinn said before hiring new staff, it should be mandatory that hours which become newly available should be given to existing part-time staff.