Unite welcomes establishment of JLC for English Language Teaching sector

JLC follows lengthy campaign by Unite members working in sector

31 January: Unite, which represents English Language Teachers throughout Ireland, has welcomed the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee to set minimum terms and conditions in the sector.  The JLC follows a lengthy campaign by Unite members working as English Language Teachers. 

Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“The English Language Teaching sector generates up to €2 billion annually for the Irish economy in fees and spending.  Yet the sector has been characterised by exploitation, with teachers battling low pay and precarious contracts.  Prior to the pandemic, there was also a series of snap school closures with both teachers and students left high and dry by rogue operators.

“In December 2018, following the snap closure of Grafton College, Unite members occupied the college and ensured that the issues confronting English Language Teachers and students were moved up the political agenda.  Shortly afterwards, the then Minister for Higher Education committed to exploring the potential for a collective agreement in the sector.  Just over four years later, Unite welcomes the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee to draw up an Employment Regulation Order setting minimum pay and conditions in the ELT sector”.

Unite Regional Officer Brendan Byrne added:

“The establishment of the Joint Labour Committee governing the English Language Teaching sector is a tribute to the hard work of Unite members who were determined not only to improve their own terms of employment but also to ensure the sustainability of this vital sector going forward.  Unite will be engaging fully in the JLC to secure the best possible terms and conditions for English Language Teachers”, Mr Byrne concluded.

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