As sector grows by 11%, Unite highlights low pay, unpaid hours and precarious work
Bruton must focus on quality of jobs as well as quantity of students
April 4th: Unite, which organises English Language Teachers, today highlighted poor working conditions in the sector and called on Minister Richard Bruton to focus on “the quality of jobs as well as the quantity of students”.
Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said:
“Last October Education and Skills Minister Richard Bruton announced that the Government intended growing the number of international students studying in Ireland by 25 per cent over four years, and recent figures published by Marketing English in Ireland showed that the sector grew by 11 per cent in 2016.
“But although the numbers are impressive, the fact is that English Language Teaching is booming on the backs of workers.
“In addition to the overuse of fixed-term contracts or low hours contracts, and some cases where no contracts at all have been issued, Unite has found a worrying incidence of bogus self-employment.
“Teachers doing the same work face massive pay discrepancies, with good schools paying €20 or more per hour while others pay not far above the Living Wage. At the same time, most teachers are only paid for contact hours, and are effectively expected to perform tasks such as preparing lessons and marking tests for free.
“The precarious nature of many contracts also means that English Language Teachers often have no entitlement to holiday pay or sick pay.
“Minister Bruton and the Government have rightly identified English Language Teaching as a growth sector – but they need to focus on growing the quality of jobs, as well as the quantity of students”, Roy Hassey concluded.
Yes. Because the focus is always on the industry as a business, not on the workers at the chalkface