Wednesday, 24 November 2021
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Lisa Chambers (Fianna Fail)
I thank Members for their contributions on the Order of Business. Senator Malcolm Byrne started the debate by raising the funding of higher education into the future and, in particular, the Cassells report. I have made a request for that debate to the Minister, Deputy Harris, at the earliest opportunity. I concur with the Senator's remarks about third level examinations and the clarity regarding what institutions are doing for their students in that regard. That clarity is certainly needed as quickly as possible. With regard to the CE supervisors, perhaps the Senator could submit a Commencement matter to find out the current position. I agree that there is a solution on the table that can be brought to a conclusion.
As regards the position of secretarial assistants, that issue has been ongoing for some time. It was also raised by Senators Craughwell, Joe O'Reilly, Wall and McGreehan, and I am sure it is shared by all Senators. Clearly, secretarial assistants of Senators do the work of parliamentary assistants because we only have one member of staff. Their workload is not commensurate with their level of pay. Even the title of the role does not do justice to the work they do. In fact, it is quite offensive.