Teachers starting work for the first time this week will be paid substantially less than in previous years.

Figures released by the three teachers' unions show that the starting salary of a new teacher on full hours will be over €11,000 less than it was in 2010.

This year's reduction to just over €27,000 is the result of the non-payment of allowances.

The unions said this is the third pay cut imposed on new teachers and describe the cuts as unfair.

They say the cuts will affect schools and teaching by demeaning new teachers and eroding goodwill.

They argue that many newly-qualified teachers will emigrate for better salaries and improved job security, which will leave Ireland short of teachers.

The unions said allowances were an integral part of salaries reflecting extra work, additional skills and further qualifications.

The Department of Education and Skills announced the cut in allowances earlier this year.