The incoming president of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation has called for changes to teachers' pay scales immediately, fast-tracking the end of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

The union, representing over 40,000 primary school teachers north and south of the border, is holding their annual conference in Belfast.

The issue of pay, in particular lower pay for more recently qualified teachers, dominated the opening day of the conference.

Teachers recruited after January 2011 started on pay scales substantially lower than their colleagues.

The new head of the INTO, John Boyle, told RTÉ News that the union wants to change that immediately and will not wait until the end of the Lansdowne Road Agreement in September 2018.

Mr Boyle said that agreement has to be fast tracked and through negotiations he is determined to ensure teachers have more money in their pockets by autumn.

A deal was struck last September to provide pay rises worth up to €2,000 to newly qualified teachers.

Over 800 INTO members are attending the conference until Wednesday.

INTO represents more than 40,000 teachers, both south and north of the border.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton will address delegates tomorrow.

Speaking at the conference, outgoing president Rosena Jordan said that the issue of pay scales within education has not been fully resolved.

She said "if there was at any time an economic justification for introducing lower pay rates for new entrants, that justification no longer exists."

She also said all teachers have earned a pay rise. 

Ms Jordan reminded delegates that Mr Bruton will be addressing the conference tomorrow, and quoted the Minister when he said Ireland has a dedicated and committed teaching profession.

However, Ms Jordan followed with " Fine words don't butter potatoes ... and it is past time that pay matches plámás."

It was officially announced at the conference that Mr Boyle will replace Ms Jordan as President of the organisation. 

It follows a contest with Gregor Kerr, the first time in 25 years that there has been a contest for the position of President. 

Tomorrow also sees the start of two other teacher trade union conferences, with the ASTI meeting in Killarney and the TUI meeting in Cork.

Pay is the big issue across all of the unions, and is expected to dominate all three conferences.

Teacher workload will also be debated, as well as a wide range of education issues.