Demands for Parity Spark Protests by Adult Education Tutors

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Adult education tutors employed by Ireland’s Education and Training Boards (ETBs) took to the streets in protest this week, calling for equal treatment and compensation parity with their counterparts teaching in further education.

The demonstrations occurred outside Leinster House, as members of the Adult Education Teachers Organisation (AETO) voiced their discontent. At the heart of the dispute is the precarious employment status endured by an estimated 3,000 tutors nationwide.

Unlike salaried teachers in systems, adult education tutors receive hourly pay rates with no income security guaranteed during academic holidays. They must frequently rely on social welfare assistance between teaching terms to make ends meet.

As Ireland strives to bolster lifelong learning pathways and accessible education for all, this dispute brings systemic workforce issues in adult education to the forefront. Resolution likely hinges on government and ETBs recognizing the need to fortify stable career prospects and benefits for specialised learning facilitators.

With adult education playing a pivotal role enabling skills development, social inclusion and economic mobility, fairly supporting talented tutors through improved contracts and advancement prospects represents both a recruitment imperative and moral obligation.

Steven Galvin

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