The Minister for Education is set to hear calls for pay rises for teachers at unions' conferences this week.
The INTO, ASTI and TUI are all holding their annual meetings where pay is topping the agenda.
The TUI which represents second and third level teachers says a lack of full-time work means many of its members are struggling to make ends meet.
"The starting salary of a teacher would be at €33,000, if a teacher is on full hours" she said TUI president Joanne Irwin.
"A lot of our members would not be on full hours.
"We had a recent survey that showed that 50% of our members under the age of 35 were on part-time hours.
"Now, we have actually negotiated with the Department [of Education] a way to address that, so that when hours become available in a school, they will now be given to part-time teachers first."
The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland will begin its annual convention this afternoon, debating the thorny issue of pay.
Despite several days of strike action last year and intensive talks with the Department of Education, no deal was reached – leaving the union outside the Lansdowne Road Agreement on public sector pay.
Teachers will consider a motion to oppose any future pay agreement that doesn’t guarantee equal pay for newer entrants to the profession, provide a timeline for full pay restoration, and bring to an end the financial emergency legislation.
Unlike their colleagues in the TUI and primary school teachers in the INTO who did sign up to Lansdowne Road, members of the ASTI did not receive payment for substitution and supervision, and a salary increment.
Other motions to be debated call for lab assistants, and the restoration of posts of responsibility in schools.