22 October 2020


A strike by secondary teachers in support of the restoration of equal pay for young teachers entering the profession caused the closure of over 700 secondary schools throughout the country including Colaiste Choilm and the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore on Thursday 27 October 2016.

“Ireland’s youngest and brightest second-level teachers are being targeted and demoralised through unequal pay,” ASTI President Ed Byrne said.

Mr Byrne was speaking as up to 17,500 teachers take to the picket line to highlight the injustice of pay disparity.

“An ASTI teacher starting in 2016 is earning €8,000 less than the 2010 teachers’ starting salary. This salary gap continues year after year. The Government’s failure to commit to achieving equal pay for young and recently qualified teachers is most alarming. The implications for education and for society are far reaching”.

“Embedding inequality in the teaching profession can only lead to widespread morale issues amongst teachers,” continued the ASTI President “At best teachers will feel devalued, at worst the most talented and dedicated will leave the profession or the country. Students will lose out.”

Mr Byrne said OECD performance indicators show that we have a high performing second-level education system. Ireland’s teenagers are ranked fourth out of 34 countries for reading literacy and well above average in science and maths.

“It is well established that a key factor determining student outcomes is the quality of their teachers. Government policy is putting our high performing education service at risk.”

In a ballot of ASTI members, ASTI teachers voted by a large majority - 80% to 20% - in favour of strike action over unequal pay.


A.S.T.I. members on picket duty at Colaiste Choilm, Tullamore on Thursday last


Orla Naughton, Aine McCormack and Sharon Cahir.



Trevor Moylan, Tommy Craven and Alan Reddin.



Aine Stones, Maria Molyneaux and Marie Therese Rasmussen.