Pay for education sector employees 56% above the national average

By Roisin Treacy

Education employees are in the highest-paid sector in the country according to The National Employment Survey, released earlier this month.

The National Employment Survey for 2008 and 2009 found that those working in education earn an average hourly rate of €34.55. This is approximately 56% higher than the national average.

According to the survey carried out by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), 20% of education employees earned €50 or more per hour.

Chief economist with the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation (IBEC), Fergal O’Brien, said that although the gap between the public and private sector remained, it had narrowed since the survey was carried out.

“There’s a significant pay-gap between the public and the private sector, close to about 50%, but the pensions levy is not included in these numbers and also public sector workers experienced a further pay cut of about 7.5% from January 2010, so that pay gap has narrowed significantly since then,” he said.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Department of Education warned that the findings of the report were based on 2008 figures and they do not reflect the earnings of education employees today.

The survey also found that the pay gap between men and women has increased. Female employees are now being paid almost 13% less than their male counterparts. While the gender gap had dropped to a record low of 10.7% in October 2007, this figure increased marginally over the following two years. The figures show that the average hourly rate for male workers in October 2009 was €23.63 while for women it was €20.61.

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