A look at salary scales

It is often said that timing is everything, and in the teaching profession this could ring true for a lot of people who graduated in the period between 2010 and 2012. Those who took a gap year, or struggled to find a position after finishing University, thus entering the profession later than they would have otherwise, face quite different pay and terms than those who entered earlier.

There has been widespread debate in recent months around the issue of pay restoration for 2012 entrants to the teaching profession. There currently exists a three-tier pay scale, and the pay restoration agreement will reduce this to a two-tier pay scale.

The pay restoration only eliminates the gap between the 2012 cohort and the 2011 cohort. A gap still remains between these “restored” individuals and those who entered the profession prior to 2011.

In 2018 the Department of Education will introduce a new pay scale for those who began their careers in 2012 and beyond, called the restoration scale. This scale will close the gap caused by the so-called qualification allowance to 2011 entrants. From 2012 onwards, new entrants are not entitled to the allowance. It will do this by adding a sum roughly equal to the allowance to their main salary. This makes sense, the qualification allowance is a misnomer, all teachers are required to have a Bachelors in Education (B.Ed) in order to join the profession.

However, when the restoration scale is enacted, pre-2011 entrants will still earn a premium over their post-2011 colleagues. Let’s call these pre-2011 entrants the “Horses Outside”. Why? Because if you had started your teaching career by the time the Rubberbandits released their hit song in December 2010, you will earn a good deal more (about the price of a decent horse) over your career than someone who didn’t get started until a month later, in January 2011.

How much? Well it’s all in the table.

How much less will I earn over my career than a “pre-2011 starter”? Amount
2011 starter €61,077.00
2012 starter (current pay scale) €174,408.00
2012 starter (restoration scale) €59,928.00

The results are interesting. On the current scale, 2012 graduates would earn €174,408 less than a pre-2011 graduate over a 35 year career. This is a substantial figure, reducing the 2012 graduates income by 9 per cent over their lifetime. As a result of the move to the “restoration scale”, this discrepancy will be reduced to €59,928.

Calculating the amounts involved is simple, the pay scales are freely available on the INTO and Department of Education websites. For the pre-2011 and 2011 graduate, the total amount earned over the career includes the annual qualification allowance of €4,918, assuming an individual has an honours degree (for the sake of simplicity we ignore pre-2011 individuals with Masters degrees). All workings are provided in the downloadable spreadsheet below.

The end result (post 2018) will be that those individuals who graduated in 2011 and beyond will earn €61,077, or 3 per cent, less than those who graduated one year previously.


INTO Pay Scales 

Department of Education – Pay Restoration

Excel document with pay scales


This is a guest blogpost written by someone who has better knowledge of how to use Excel.

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