Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (269)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

269. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of allowances previously available to teachers which were removed following a review of allowances during the recession; the estimated annual saving through the reduction of these allowances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18639/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As a consequence of the economic crisis, there was a need to enact a number of measures to reduce public expenditure so as to stabilise the country's public finances.

The last Government approved a number of measures relating to public service allowances following a public service-wide review of allowances and premium payments conducted by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. As a result of the Government decision, certain allowances were withdrawn for new beneficiaries with effect from 1 February 2012. The details are set out in my Department's Circular 08/2013.

Any person who was in receipt of the relevant allowances on 31 January 2012 will continue to be paid that allowance except where the teacher ceases that job role or changes school or employer on or after 1 February 2012. Where a teacher is redeployed under the agreed redeployment scheme, this will not be regarded as a cessation.

As part of the public service-wide review of allowances, the Government withdrew all qualification allowances for teachers’ appointed from the 1st February, 2012.

As a result of the September 2016 Agreement with Unions, revised salary scales which include the equivalent of the value of the Honours' Primary Degree allowance have been applied from 1 January 2018 to teachers recruited since 1 January 2011. A registered teacher now commences on an annual salary of over €36,318 under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 - 2020. The starting salary for a registered teacher commencing teaching for the first time in October 2020 will be €37,600.

The annual cost of restoring the H.Dip allowance is estimated at €7 million.

In addition to the qualification allowances , another 5 allowances were withdrawn. The estimated annual cost of restoring these allowances to new entry teachers in Primary, Voluntary Secondary and Community and Comprehensive schools would be in the region of €2.5m.

The details provided relate only to teachers paid on payrolls operated by my Department and do not include details applicable to teachers employed by Education and Training Boards.