Substitute teachers stuck in limbo

Many teachers across Galway – unable to secure permanent jobs – find themselves consigned to substitution for years without security or holiday pay.

That’s according to a survey of substitutes in the south east of the county, which revealed that two Galway teachers have been stuck in this limbo since they qualified back in 2007.

Teaching principal of St Brendan’s National School in Eyrecourt Éilis Treacy said she was infuriated to read the results of a survey conducted by the Higher Education Authority which found that 96% of teachers who graduated in 2017 were working or due to start a job within nine months of qualifying.

It found that education graduates had the highest reported salaries, averaging around €38,000.

The poll did not reflect the life of a teacher in Galway, insists the secretary of the South East Galway Principals and Deputy Principals Forum of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO).

She set up a list of substitute teachers three years ago who covered schools in Ballinasloe, Gort, Portumna and Loughrea in order to make it easier to find an available substitute.

She conducted a survey of the 49 teachers on the list, getting back responses from 25 of them. Almost all of them had been covering day-to-day absences and maternity leaves for several years.

‘Day-to-day subbing’ means these teachers only get paid for the day they work. They do not get paid holidays, sick leave or increments.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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