Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (245)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

245. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to put in place new employment structures for school secretaries in order that there is more employment security for persons who are in this role; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24629/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The majority of schools receive grant assistance in respect of caretaking or secretarial services under the Capitation Grants scheme. Within the Capitation grant scheme, the level and extent of services provided is a matter for the school authorities who, through the discretion afforded under the scheme, apply diverse arrangements for secretarial and caretaking services according to their priorities and as resources permit. As the secretaries and caretakers are employees of individual schools, my Department does not have a role in determining the pay and conditions, including pension rights, under which they are engaged. These are matters to be agreed between the staff concerned and the school authorities. Notwithstanding this, a forum was set up with the aim of establishing the position in schools regarding the terms and conditions of school secretaries and caretakers employed using grants issued by my Department. The forum is jointly chaired by my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the relevant management bodies and the unions involved (SIPTU and IMPACT). In order to establish the factual position of secretaries and caretakers, a survey, developed in conjunction with the school management bodies and the relevant unions, was carried out in all schools. The results of the survey is contributing to the forums considerations of appropriate measures in relation to the rates of pay of school secretaries and caretakers which are ongoing.