School chiefs and teaching unions have reached agreement on a new pay deal for primary school teachers which will see all teachers being placed in a ‘much higher salary scale’.
Teachers will also get a 2.5% pay rise in September, a one-off payment of 42% of their new monthly salary and a maximum bonus of €750, depending on how many hours they work, the NRC reported on Thursday.
Primary school teachers have been campaigning since last October for higher pay and less pressure of work, caused, in part, by a shortage of teaching staff.
The deal still has to be approved by teachers themselves.
Earlier this year, the national statistics office CBS said one in five primary school teachers are now is over the age of 55 and that means the number of teachers some 10 years away from retirement has almost doubled in the past 14 years.
At the same time, the number of students at teacher training colleges has slumped, the CBS said. In the 2003/04 academic year, 10,000 people were attending pabo colleges to become a teacher. There are just 4,500 students in the current academic year.
The CBS says the sharp drop is due to stronger selection procedures to become a teacher.