Unite challenges umbrella body to publish wage figures
February 15th: Unite, which represents English Language Teachers, today accused umbrella group Marketing English in Ireland of ‘glossing over’ exploitation in the ELT sector and called on MEI to publish total wage figures for the sector, as was done last year.
Commenting on the latest report published by MEI this week, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said:
“The ELT sector has the potential to be an economic driver offering a high-quality service to students and good jobs to teachers. Instead, the sector’s reputation is being undermined by exploitation of both students and teachers by some unscrupulous operators.
“The picture painted in MEI’s latest report is of a thriving ELT sector attracting students from around the world and creating significant number of jobs.
“The reality is that many students arrive in Ireland to find that agents have placed them in over-crowded, substandard accommodation while they are being taught by teachers on low wages and precarious contracts. The resulting turnover inevitably makes for a poorer learning experience.
“Unite notes that, in contrast to 2017, MEI’s report this year omits total wage figures for the sector – no doubt because Unite’s analysis of those figures last year showed that many teachers are paid little more than the Living Wage – with some earning far less when unpaid ‘non-contact’ hours are factored in.
“Unite is today challenging MEI to revise its report published on Monday to include total wage figures in the interests of transparency. Following the groundbreaking conclusion of a recognition agreement between Unite and Academic Bridge English School this week, we are also calling on MEI to encourage its members to meet with Unite and negotiate decent terms and conditions for English Language Teachers”, Roy Hassey concluded.