Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Questions (21)

Mick Barry


21. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will end the position whereby new teachers are on lesser pay rates and conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18266/16]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Government has committed to establishing a Public Service Pay Commission to examine pay levels across the Public Service, including entry pay levels. The terms of reference and timescale for the Commission's work are a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

The Government recognises the importance of being able to attract quality new entrants to the Public Service, particularly so in important professional areas like education.

The restrictions in entry pay levels were introduced in 2011 and 2012 across the public service at a time when the pressure in public finances was severe and the scope for new recruitment was very restricted.

Under the Lansdowne Road Agreement the process of restoring public service pay is commencing. An important feature of this is the flat rate increase which is being implemented. This is proportionately more valuable to those early in their careers. Restoration of the supervision and substitution payment is provided for subject to co-operation with the Lansdowne Road Agreement. The Lansdowne Road Agreement did not address the issue of pay of new entrants.

My Department continues to seek to engage with teacher unions on issues of mutual concern and has recently reached agreement with INTO and TUI in respect of:

- discussions to improve the position of teachers on fixed-term and part-time teaching

- a robust review of in-school management structures

- an increase in the quantum of the extra Croke Park hours which do not have to be worked on a "whole school" basis

The Government has also indicated that it will support the gradual negotiated unwinding of FEMPI measures having due regard to the priority to improve public services and in recognition of the essential role played by public servants.