Have your say on ELT in Ireland

As you may be aware, QQA legislation is working its way through the Dáil. Within this legislation is the amendment added as a direct result of Unite’s outstanding work in lobbying for reform on teaching working conditions.

In December 2018, following the snap closure of Grafton College, the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, appointed a mediator, Patrick King, to explore: “whether there is scope for a set of minimum employment standards to be agreed between employers and employees in the English language education sector.” In this role, he has been meeting with employers and employees to discuss issues in the sector, with a view to writing a full report outlining his findings.

We urge all English language teachers to contact Mr King to give an account of their experiences in the ELT sector. We believe that this process is an important step towards greater recognition of the employment abuses and shady business tactics employed by English language schools in Ireland. Your submission is guaranteed to be treated in confidence. If you would like us to forward your response to Mr King, please get in touch.

Here are some of the headings that you can use to discuss in your response:

  • Pay rate/ pay scales
  • Hours of teaching
  • Non-teaching hours
  • Employment security
  • Workplace communication issues
  • English language teaching as a career
  • Pension arrangements
  • Sick leave, holiday pay, carer’s leave, bereavement leave, etc
  • Classroom environment
  • Facilities and resources
  • Workplace bullying
  • Incidents with management
  • Opportunities to progress (or lack thereof) in the industry
  • Your concerns about the industry
  • Your view of the industry’s future
  • If you have left the industry, your experiences would be valuable to contribute to this report
  • Any other relevant issues you want the government to know about this industry and your place within it

We urge you to use this time to make your voice heard at this government-level. The government is finally listening to our rightful and genuine grievances with the industry and we implore you not to waste this opportunity.

Submissions should be emailed to elemediation@education.gov.ie by the 25th of February 2019. From today, you have 6 days to ensure that you play your part in transforming the sector for yourself and for future generations of teachers who all deserve decent, safe and viable work.

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