Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Ceisteanna (120)

Brian O'Shea

Ceist:

187 Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for Education and Science if school caretakers and school attendants will benefit under benchmarking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7989/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

School caretakers are linked for pay purposes to the general operative grade in local authorities. A parallel benchmarking process has recently been concluded for the general operative grade in local authorities which provides for an increase of €70.09 per week subject to increased flexibility and mobility measures. Payment will be made on a phased basis and will be subject to approval by the appropriate performance verification group.

The application of the increase to caretakers employed in vocational schools, community and comprehensive schools and certain primary schools is the subject of discussions between officials from my Department, representatives of the appropriate managerial authorities of schools and the relevant trade unions. The discussions are focused on securing increased flexibility and change measures which, when agreed, will release the first quarter of the increase due with effect from 1 December 2001.

In the case of secondary schools and the majority of primary schools, the arrangements are that each school receives a grant from my Department for the provision of caretaking and other ancillary services. It is a matter for each school to determine how best to meet its caretaking requirements. My Department has no direct role in the pay and conditions of service of caretakers employed directly by schools under these arrangements.