TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore’s wife is going to get a new job worth at least €92,000 in Ruairi Quinn’s department when her current post is abolished.
Carol Hanney will become a policy specialist on further education and training, after the Vocational Education Committee where she is chief executive is disbanded next year.
She will retain her current salary following her move from Dun Laoghaire VEC, which is to be subsumed along with 32 other VECs into new education and training boards.
Arrangements for redeployment were already agreed between the Department of Education and Siptu on behalf
of the VEC chief executives. Some of the VEC bosses are only in the job on an acting basis and will return to their former roles, whereas others will take up positions with the new education boards.
But Ms Hanney is among three who are taking up new positions in her case as a civil servant looking after further
education and training, including the future of FAS training centres.
Under the Croke Park agreement, she is entitled to be redeployed to the new position with the same salary and conditions.
As the chief executive of a VEC, she is entitled to a salary of between €92,000 and €115,000.
Fianna Fa?il education spokesperson Charlie McConalogue called on the Tanaiste to clarify whether he had any role in the appointment.
But a Department of Education spokeswoman said the role was not a political appointment.
She said Ms Hanney would be a civil servant and would not be working as a political adviser to Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.
Of the 33 VEC chief executives, 19 were in permanent positions and were entitled to be redeployed. But given that there are only 16 new chief executive positions for the new education training boards which will replace the VECs, three
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and his wife Carol Hanney: Ms Hanney has been redeployed under the Croke Park Agreement chief executives were surplus to requirements.
Ms Hanney was one of these because she had a shorter length of service in charge of Dun Laoghaire VEC than other chief executives.
In her new position, Ms Hanney will have a role to play in the transfer of further education training from FAS to the new education bodies which will replace the VECs.
The department spokeswoman said that the redeployment process for the VEC chief executives had been agreed with SIPTU.
No interviews were carried out for the new positions because it was a redeployment arrangement.
Another of the surplus staff is Co Louth VEC boss Padraig Kirk.
A former department inspector, he will become director for in-service training of school teachers.
The Department of Education is predicting savings of €2.1m a year from the merger because 14 pit of 33 VEC CEOs were temporary appointments and will return to lower-paid former jobs. The VECs have a total annual budget of about €1bn.