Silvermines native Ger Curtin has taken over the reins of one of the country’s largest teaching unions, the Association of Secretary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI).
Mr Curtin is a physics and maths teacher at Beneavin College, Finglas, Dublin.
He has said his priorities for the coming year are ending the discrimination against recently qualified teachers who are placed on inferior pay scales even though they carry out the same work as their colleagues.
Mr Curtin said he will also work to lessen the unacceptably high level of underemployment in teaching including low hours and short-term contracts.
“For young teachers today, the primary characteristics of the profession they are entering are job insecurity, low hours and unequal pay. The more we allow these characteristics to become embedded in the system the deeper the sense of injustice felt amongst recently qualified teachers. As the proportion of teachers affected by underemployment and inferior pay increases, the greater the potential for the erosion of quality and standards in education,” said Mr Curtin.”We all have an interest in ensuring that all children can access a high quality education delivered by quality teachers. This means addressing income inequality and uncertainty before our dedicated and skilled young teachers become demoralised or leave the profession,” said the new president.