Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (134)

Heather Humphreys


134. Deputy Heather Humphreys asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding supplementary assignment arrangements for the 2013/2014 school year (details supplied); the reason only special needs assistants made redundant after the 1 May 2013 may become members of a supplementary assignment panel until June 2014; the options available to SNAs made redundant prior to May 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33676/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, a new set of proposals for a public service agreement were put forward by the Labour Relations Commission which now form the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2016 (the Haddington Road Agreement, a copy of which has been forwarded to the Deputy). One aspect of this Agreement relates to supplementary assignment arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) and as both Unions that represent SNAs namely, SIPTU and IMPACT, have signed up to the Haddington Road Agreement, the Department has now implemented supplementary assignment arrangements for SNAs for the 2013/2014 school year. The detailed arrangements are set out in Departmental Circular 0037/2013 which issued on 1 July 2013, a copy of which has been forwarded to the Deputy.

The first part of the LRC proposals for supplementary assignment arrangements for SNAs outlines that the supplementary assignment arrangements only apply to current SNAs who are notified that they are to be made redundant. Accordingly, with effect from 1 May 2013 once an SNA with a minimum of one year's service is notified by his/her employer that he/she is to be made redundant then he/she shall be deemed to be a member of a Supplementary Assignment Panel for SNAs. SNAs who were made redundant prior to 1 May 2013 are free to apply for SNA positions however, the revised rules on SNA recruitment are as set out in Departmental Circular 37/2013, the purpose of which is to facilitate those SNAs who are notified that they are to be made redundant in filling SNA vacancies which become available in other schools/ETBs. Accordingly, those SNAs who are members of the SNA Supplementary Assignment Panel are afforded preferential treatment in the filling of SNA vacancies. As the LRC proposals are part of a wider public-sector pay agreement that represent compromises by both employers and unions, I do not have the ability to alter the terms of that agreement.