Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Department of Education and Skills
178. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 82 of 13 February 2013, the number of relief teaching days allocated to teachers on a departmental pension in the 2012-13 and the past school year at primary and post-primary respectively; the steps being taken to reduce this number; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28219/14]
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not readily available. The most recent information available relates to March 2014 when a total of 282 retired teachers were employed by the managerial authorities of schools. One hundred and forty nine retired primary teachers and one hundred and thirty three retired voluntary secondary and community and comprehensive teachers were employed. However, seventy per cent of those teachers worked 5 days or less. By comparision in March 2013 a total of 362 retired teachers were employed by the managerial authorities. Two hundred and eight retired primary teachers and one hundred and fifty four retired voluntary secondary and community and comprehensive teachers were employed. In that period eighty five per cent worked 5 days or less.
The policy of my Department is to ensure, as far as possible, that the managerial authorities of schools give priority to unemployed registered teachers who are fully qualified when filling vacant teaching posts. My Department has issued a number of circulars addressing this issue in recent years. Under the terms of these circulars school Principal's must maintain a list of unemployed registered teachers who are available for substitute work at short notice and report to the Board of Management on any exceptional occasion where they have to engage a registered teacher who is retired. Circular 31/2011 details a cascade of measures for recruitment of teachers, prioritising registered teachers over retired registered teachers and unregistered people.
A retired teacher who returns to teaching on or after 1 February 2012 will commence at the first point of the incremental salary scale. Incremental credit for service prior to 1 February 2012, qualification allowances and certain job role allowances are also not payable. These measures represents a significant financial disincentive for teachers who retired at the top of their salary scale, often with a post of responsibility allowance, to return to teaching.