Written answers

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Staff

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin Fingal, Independent)
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700. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she is satisfied as to the legal permissibility and enforceability of a third level institute enforcing a reduction in the pay of rehired retired staff to an arbitrary level on foot of non-binding written advice from the Higher Education Authority but in the absence of a circular from her advising as to the appropriate level at which such staff should be paid; whether, in the absence of a public sector union agreement as to the appropriate pay level for such staff; she will direct the authority to rescind its advice (details supplied) to higher education institutes on this matter pending a negotiated agreement with unions and the issuing of a circular by her; and if she will direct third level institutions to maintain pay rates until such time as a negotiated agreement has been put in place and a circular issued. [6805/16]

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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As the Deputy will be aware, since the introduction of the moratorium on public sector recruitment, an Employment Control Framework (ECF) has been in place for the higher education sector which provides institutions with considerable flexibility to fill vacancies, through recruitment or promotions on the basis of meeting an overall ceiling of posts. Under this Framework the re-employment of retired staff should only occur in very limited exceptional circumstances and in these cases the salaries offered may not exceed 20% of the full-time salary of the post of the individual at the time of their retirement, adjusted to reflect the application of Government pay policy in the period since their date of retirement – including in particular the application of salary adjustments imposed under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No. 2) Act 2009.

In Budget 2015, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced that the existing ECFs and associated moratoriums would be lifted and replaced with a system of delegated sanction for recruiting and promoting up to Principal Officer level, subject to adherence by Departments to binding pay ceilings and ongoing compliance with Workforce Planning requirements. In light of this announcement a new ECF for the higher education sector will be put in place shortly, and the Department will be liaising, along with the Higher Education Authority, with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the provisions of the new agreement, including the requirements in respect of salary levels payable to rehired retired staff.


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