Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (87)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

87. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider introducing a minimum flat rate of payment for bus escorts for children with special needs in cases, for example, the case of a person (details supplied), that are short of a full hours work on a daily basis in order to make it economically viable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52281/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of my Department.

The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018.

In accordance with Department of Education & Skills Circular 50/2019 regarding the revision of pay for all staff paid directly by a recognised school or ETB, the hourly rate effective from 1st September 2019 for School Bus Escorts is €13.07. Holiday pay is paid at 8%. This equates to €1.05 (€13.07 x 8%) and is payable for each hour worked with effect from 1st September 2019. School Bus Escorts are paid based on the daily hours worked.

The revised salary rates have been introduced as a result of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013 – 2020 (Haddington Road Agreement/ Lansdowne Road Agreement) and the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017.