Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (104)

Róisín Shortall


101 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science if resource teachers and teacher assistants will be granted salary increases as part of the benchmarking process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2548/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

The Public Service Benchmarking Body recommended that the payment of the benchmarking increases due with effect from 1 January 2004 and 1 June 2005 should be dependent on real and verifiable outputs from modernisation and flexibility changes.

Resource teachers are comprehended within the modernisation agenda set out for teachers in paragraphs 24.27 to 24.33 of Sustaining Progress which includes,inter alia, revised arrangements for the holding of parent-teacher meetings and the standardisation of breaks at mid-term and holiday periods at Christmas and Easter. Agreement has now been reached on the issue of parent-teacher meetings and discussions are at an advanced stage on the standardised school holiday periods for future years. However, a number of difficulties have arisen in regard to issues on non-compliance by certain schools with the standardised arrangements agreed for the current school year and these are currently under discussion at the teachers conciliation council which is holding a special meeting on 3 February next to address these matters. I am anxious that these remaining difficulties are quickly resolved so that the payments to teachers can be made.