School Services Staff

Ceisteanna (151, 152, 153)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

151. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills when talks will commence with representatives of school secretaries as recommended by the Workplace Relations Commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12682/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

152. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the working conditions and pay of school secretaries should reflect the work they do in view of the role they play in the running of schools; his plans to support the improvement of working conditions for school secretaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12683/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

153. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of negotiations with representatives of school secretaries regarding the two-tier pay system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12684/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 151 to 153, inclusive, together.

I recognise the very important work done by school secretaries, and indeed by other support staff, in the running of our schools and I am grateful to them for the contribution they make to our education system. I have spoken to a number of school secretaries about their employment conditions.

Schemes were initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of Clerical Officers and Caretakers in schools. The schemes were withdrawn completely in 2008. These schemes have been superseded by the more extensive capitation grant schemes. The current grant scheme was agreed in the context of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress, published in 1991.

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under these grant schemes. It is a matter for each individual school to decide how best to apply the grant funding to suit its particular needs. Where a school uses the grant funding for caretaking or secretarial purposes, any staff taken on to support those functions are employees of individual schools. Specific responsibility for the pay and conditions rests with the school.

On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department engaged with the Unions representing school secretaries and caretakers, including through an independent arbitration process in 2015. The Arbitrator recommended a cumulative pay increase of 10% between 2016 and 2019 for staff and that a minimum hourly pay rate of €13 be phased in over that period. This arbitration agreement covers the period up to 31 December 2019.

The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a Secretary or Caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per hour in 2015 prior to the arbitration will, from 1 January 2019, be paid €13 per hour which is a 50% increase in that individual’s hourly pay.

The FÓRSA trade union have requested a meeting with the Department to discuss pay arrangements for grant-funded Secretaries and Caretakers from 2020 onwards. The Department has acknowledged the letter and is considering the union’s request.

School Breaks Standardisation

Ceisteanna (154)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

154. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will investigate the possibility of introducing set eating times for children in primary schools during lunch break; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12685/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Circular 11/95 “Time in School” paragraph 3 states that a typical school day for Junior classes is 4 hours and 40 minutes and Senior classes 5 hours and 40 minutes with appropriate recreation i.e. 30 minutes. Under the Rules for National Schools, forenoon and afternoon breaks of five minutes each are allowed.

Where a recreation interval or break of a longer duration than the foregoing are taken (for example when children are allowed to have lunch in the classroom prior to the official commencement of the recreation interval) the length of the school day must be extended correspondingly.

The arrangements relating to time for recreation and for pupils to eat their lunch is a matter for each Board of Management to determine. These arrangements are dependent on a variety of local factors such as accommodation, staffing, supervision, sequencing of breaks etc. and as such are best left to be managed locally by the school.

Immigration Controls

Ceisteanna (155)

Mick Barry

Ceist:

155. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of permits for migrant non-EU fishers currently issued under the atypical scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12686/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there are at present 188 non-EEA crew members in the Irish fishing fleet who are availing of permission under the Atypical Working Scheme in order to work in the State. Overall, since the scheme commenced in 2016 there have been 275 new permissions and 237 permissions renewed during that period.

Permission under the Scheme is granted to a non-EEA crew member for a maximum duration of 12 months. Permission can be renewed for a further twelve months by application, and there is no limit to the number of times an existing permission can be renewed.

The Deputy may wish to note that a non-EEA crew member who has received permission under the Scheme can apply to change the employer for whom they have been granted permission to work. This application can be made at any time after the original permission has been granted up to the date on which their existing permission will expire. There is no minimum time period for which a crew member must work for a given employer prior to making such an application.

Garda Communications

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (156, 157, 164)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

156. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the barriers to An Garda Síochána sharing case related information in a multi-agency risk assessment conference setting with departmental agencies and front-line domestic violence organisations. [12451/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

157. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a memorandum of understanding between An Garda Síochána, departmental agencies and front-line domestic violence organisations would enable it to share case related information in a multi-agency risk assessment conference setting. [12452/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

164. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the domestic violence risk assessment tool under development by An Garda Síochána will be used by partner agencies and front-line domestic violence agencies. [12579/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 156, 157 and 164 together.

I have sought a report from the Garda Commissioner in respect of the issues raised and will correspond directly with the Deputy when I receive a response.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
I refer to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 156, 157 and 164 of 13 March. I have now received a response from the Garda Commissioner to the issues raised by the Deputy.
The Commissioner has advised me that the Garda Síochána recognises the importance and effectiveness of working in collaboration with external agencies, in particular in cases of sexual and domestic abuse where victims require a range of support services from multiple stakeholders, and that multi-agency working is about providing a seamless response to such individuals. There are, however, restrictions for the Garda Síochána in sharing case related information in a multi-agency risk assessment setting. In the case of crimes against adults where there is no imminent risk identified it is not permissible under data protection legislation to share personal information without the consent of that person. Insofar as the protection of and welfare concerns surrounding children is concerned the sharing of information with the Child and Family Agency is provided for under the Children First Act 2015 and Children First Guidance 2017. It is not possible to share this information with other agencies except in cases where an imminent risk of harm is deemed to exist. Thus, the sharing of information with front-line domestic violence organisations is very limited and can only occur when consent is provided.
The development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between An Garda Síochána, Departmental Agencies and front-line domestic violence organisations would need to be based on lawful process and conform to the Data Protection Acts. There are specific data sharing difficulties that arise in sharing information with front-line domestic violence organisations and the existence of an MOU would not alleviate the barriers and/or circumvent the limitations on data sharing imposed by the Data Protection Acts.
However, it is possible to share data with Departmental Agencies as the Data Protection Act, 2018 permits the development of service-level agreements inter-departmentally.
The domestic-violence risk-assessment tool currently under development by the Garda Síochána has been specifically designed for use by members of the Garda Síochána. It is not envisaged that the risk-assessment tool would be utilised by any other agency, having been designed specifically for policing use and will be accessed through PULSE (the Garda computer system), which nullifies the prospect of use by any external agencies.
Where appropriate, partner agencies such as the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Tusla will be notified of identified risks in specific cases. However, it will not be possible in the absence of consent to inform front-line domestic violence agencies of such risks, as to do so would be a breach of Data Protection legislation.
I hope this information from An Garda Síochána is of assistance.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (158)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

158. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding his Department or agencies under the remit of his Department have provided to projects in County Galway in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; if the funding has been allocated; if it has been drawn down in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12514/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The information sought is being collated and cannot be provided in the time available. As soon as the information has been collated I will write to the Deputy on the matter.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (159)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

159. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding that his Department or agencies under the remit of his Department have provided to projects in County Roscommon in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; if the funding has been allocated; if it has been drawn down in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12531/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Garda Deployment

Ceisteanna (160)

John Lahart

Ceist:

160. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of community gardaí allocated to Tallaght and Rathfarnham Garda stations; the total number in this regard; the number of community gardaí in these stations since 2010; and the number of shifts over which the community gardaí are spread. [12539/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

Tallaght and Rathfarnham Garda Stations form part of the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) South Division. The Garda strength of the DMR South from 2009 to 31 January 2019 as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website through the following links. http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_January_2018.xlsx/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_January_2018.xlsx

Community policing is at the heart of An Garda Síochána as it recognises that every community, either urban or rural, has its own concerns and expectations. The role of a community Garda is not a specialist role in An Garda Síochána; rather it is the case that all Gardaí have a role to play in community policing in carrying out their duties. The official categorisation of Community Garda simply refers to those who are exclusively assigned to building relationships with local communities and civil society including giving talks to schools, community groups and others. It is a matter for the Divisional Chief Superintendent to determine the optimum distribution of duties among the personnel available to him or her having regard to the profile of the area and its specific needs.

I am advised by the Commissioner that all Community Gardaí in Tallaght and Rathfarnham Garda Stations are rostered across five units, working Early (7am-5pm), Late (12pm-10pm/4pm-2am, depending what day the late falls in the roster), and Night Shifts (6pm-4am).

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the Community Garda Strength in Tallaght and Rathfarnham Garda Stations in each of the years from 2010 to 31 January 2019, the latest date for which figures are currently available, as supplied by the Garda Commissioner are as set out in the table.

For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures

Garda Strength Presented - Community Gardaí - Total

Station

Tallaght

Rathfarnham

Year

Community Gardaí

Total

Community Gardaí

Total

2010

20

199

6

76

2011

24

194

7

73

2012

31

188

9

74

2013

25

174

10

78

2014

25

170

7

72

2015

27

176

9

69

2016

19

179

8

64

2017

18

181

7

58

2018

21

199

6

54

2019*

24

198

6

54

*As of 31 January 2019

Total: means all those Gardaí at a station all of whom have community policing as an inherent part of their role.

Community Gardaí: are those with the official categorisation and are exclusively assigned to building relationships with local communities including giving talks to schools, community groups and others.