Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Adult Education Provision

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, RISE)
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652. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the proposals that will be made to regularise contracts and establish a salary scale for adult education tutors in view of a recommendation of the Labour Court in March 2020 (details supplied); if the prior service of AETs will be acknowledged within any offer made; and the steps the Minister intends to make to bring post-2011 entrants' pay up to parity with their colleagues.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32518/22]

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail)
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There has been a range of industrial relations issues pertaining to adult education tutors that have been under discussion for several years under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills preceding the establishment of my Department. 

Notwithstanding progress made on some elements, the claim to align tutors to a pay scale of an existing grade in Education and Training Boards (ETBs), as referred to in the March 2020 Labour Court recommendation, currently remains unresolved. This recommendation was made in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic and consequently the Department's ability and capacity to develop a full response and engage on the issue was constrained by pressure of work arising from the public health emergency and the establishment of the Department during that period at which time responsibility for the claim transferred.

The Sectoral Bargaining Fund under Building Momentum is to deal with outstanding issues within the terms of the Fund and within the Exchequer funding limit in place. As the Department of Education leads negotiations for the ETB sector, my Department is liaising with it and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with a view to finalising the official position at the earliest opportunity. An assessment of the costs involved in any alignment to a pay scale is being undertaken as part of this work. Officials met with TUI and SIPTU representatives on 18 May and it was agreed that a Working Group would be established to assist in that work.

Arising from the work of the group, I expect that my Department will in a position make a proposal to staff representatives at the earliest opportunity, with a view to resolving this issue.

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