June 15th: Unite, which represents English Language Teachers, said today that members were taken aback by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Twitter reference to the ‘huge’ intangible value of English Language Teaching to Ireland, given the Government’s persistent failure to legislate for decent terms and conditions in the ELT sector. Unite’s statement followed a tweet by the Taoiseach this week in which he pointed out that three European Prime Ministers had studied in Ireland, noting that “the intangible value of English Language learning in Ireland must be huge”.
Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said: “The value of our members’ work may be intangible, but they would like to see a very tangible improvement in their terms and conditions.
“Unite has long highlighted persistent labour abuses in the sector, including bogus self-employment, and we have called on the Government to ensure that the pending Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Amendment) Bill, which provides for an International Education Mark, also establishes minimum employment standards for English Language Teachers.
“We would welcome the Taoiseach’s assurance that, given his recognition of the huge intangible value to Ireland of the services provided by our members, his Government will move to address their concerns without further delay. Our members’ message is very clear: Taoiseach, don’t just tweet – legislate!”, Mr Hassey said.