Newer teachers are demanding the same wages as their colleagues, saying it’s a matter of equality.
All three unions are holding their annual conferences this week, and calling for equal pay as a matter of urgency.
Pressure is mounting on Minister Richard Bruton to provide full-time work and pay rises for teachers.
TUI President Joanne Irwin says many of her members are struggling to reach the starting salary.
Newly qualified teachers start at the bottom of the pay scale at 25 or 26 and don’t reach the top of the salary scale until their mid-50s.
Local TUI rep and teacher at Coláiste Dún Iascaigh in Cahir Seamus Lahart says by their mid-30s they are €175,000 behind the earnings of someone who began teaching before 2002.
Speaking on Tipp Today he said this is deterring many from taking up teaching.