Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Department of Education and Skills

School Staff

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
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276. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills to restore the allowance for teaching through Irish (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28700/24]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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The Department of Education, along with other Departments across the public service, implemented the outcome of the public service-wide review of allowances and premium payments (September 2012) by the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform. This meant that many allowances were no longer payable to “new entrants” including Teachers. Among the allowances that had sanction for payment to new beneficiaries removed was the Teaching through Irish Allowance and the Gaeltacht Allowance. The Gaeltacht Allowance was also paid to certain other public service grades not just Teachers.

In terms of the possible reintroduction of any allowance, additional amendments to Teacher Terms and Conditions, can only be achieved through engagement and collective bargaining agreements between the Government and the public service unions. Over the course of recent collective agreements, amendments have been agreed which have seen the value of certain allowances previously withdrawn being integrated into “new entrant” teacher pay. Examples are the equivalent of an honour’s primary degree allowance and the PME allowance for post-primary teachers.

Any further amendments to alter the allowances paid to teachers, whether “new entrant” or not, give rise to significant cost issues and should, as mentioned, be part of engagement and collective agreements between Unions and Government.

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