Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
Question 100: To ask the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the number of employees in Waterways Ireland; the grades of those employed; the number employed in Northern Ireland; the status of those employed, whether civil service or otherwise; the employment description of those employed; the number of vacancies for outside staff within the agency; if such positions are to be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16738/09]
I am informed that Waterways Ireland currently has a total of 358 employees, 88 of whom are based in Northern Ireland and 270 based in Ireland. This is further broken down into 82 permanent staff in Northern Ireland and 269 permanent staff in Ireland. Additionally, there are currently seven student placements employed on fixed term contracts (six in Northern Ireland and one in Ireland).
I understand that staff are employed in the following grades: Administrative Assistant; Administrator; Architectural Assistant; Assistant Inspector of Navigation; Assistant Lock-keeper; Assistant Valuer; Assistant Warden; Boatperson; Carpenter; Chief Executive; Clerical Officer; Craftsman; Director of Finance and Personnel; Director of Marketing and Communications; Director of Operations; Director of Technical Services; Dock Superintendent; Engineer (Design-Mechanical-Operations); Engineering Technician; Environment Officer; Foreman Grade 1; Foremen Grade 2; Ganger-Excavator Driver; Gauge Reader; General Operative (Basic); General Operative (Charge hand); General Operative (Light Equipment Operator); General Operative (Plant Operator A); General Operative (Plant Operator B); Head of Administration (Property-Legal; Strategy-Policy; Operations; Finance; HR; IT; Marketing and Communications); Head of Asset and Project Management; Head of Civil Engineering; Head of Structural Engineering; Inspector of Navigation; Internal Auditor; Labourer; Lock-keeper; Marketing Assistant; Mechanical Fitter-Welder; Office Foreman; Office Supervisor; Project Accountant; Regional Engineer; Regional Manager; Safety Adviser; Safety Administrator; Senior Engineer (Design-Operations); Senior Environment Officer; Senior Ganger; Storekeeper Clerk Grade 1; Storekeeper Clerk Grade 2; Storekeeper Clerk in Charge; Storeperson; Supervisor; Support Services Officer; Systems Analyst; Valuer; Warden; Waterway Patroller.
Under the relevant legislation, staff of the body are employees of Waterways Ireland and are not civil servants. They are, however, treated as public servants in each jurisdiction.
Waterways Ireland has approval for 381 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), of which some 352 FTEs (equating to the 358 employees referred to above) are filled at present. Taking account of seasonal workers employed on a short-term basis during the summer months, 18 vacancies exist currently. Recruitment of staff is a matter for the body in accordance with procedures agreed by the North-South Ministerial Council.
I have been informed by Waterways Ireland that it is aware of, and greatly appreciates, the work done by local community groups along our waterways, in particular the canals. Waterways Ireland is not a grant-aiding organisation. However, it has from time to time provided support in kind to a number of groups to help with cleaning the canals. If a particular group located along the canals requires such support, it should contact the Waterways Ireland Regional Office at 01-868 0148.