New teachers face pay cut

Teachers who land a job this year will be paid up to €6,000 less, than colleagues who started work in 2010 following finance minister Brian Lenihan's budget decision to cut starting salaries and allowances in the public service by 10% from 1 January.

Nurses will see their starting pay cut by around €3,700 and gardaí by around €4,000. Clerical officers and executive officers in government depart­- ­ments will start off their career up to €3,500 behind their colleagues.

Even cleaners, who are the lowest-paid public servants, will see their starting wage drop by almost €40 a week from €397 to €357 a week which is just 53c an hour above the national minimum wage.

While lower-paid entry grades in the public service are being hit by minister Lenihan's third cut in public service pay in two years, staff recruited from outside the public service into high-paid jobs such as government advisers and consultants will remain unaffected.

A circular issued by the Department of Finance last week stated that the 10% cut will also be applied to allow­ances. This has a significant impact on the income of nurses, gardaí, prison officers and teachers who can boost their salaries by up to 20% from various allowances.

Nurses, for example, are paid an allowance of almost €3,000 for being a qualified midwife while gardaí have a range of allowances worth an average of over €14,000 a year.