Thursday 27 November 2014

Stand-in and supervision payments to be restored

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

Published 22/05/2013 | 05:00

PAYMENTS worth €1,300 a year will be restored to teachers by 2017 under the alternative Croke Park II deal.

The money is for supervision and substitution work, the allowance for which is being discontinued from September.

However, in the proposed new package, a payment will be reinstated in two phases – €650 from 2016/17, rising to €1,300 the following year. The payment is currently either €1,592 or €1,769.

In a further concession, when restored, the €1,300 will no longer be treated as a separate allowance but will be incorporated into core pay.The new proposals also include changes to the operation of the supervision and substitution scheme to soften the impact of what was previously envisaged.

Under Croke Park II, the scheme was being extended to cover a wider range of absences, including the first day of certified sick leave and bereavement leave. But the new deal provides for schools to use traditional arrangements and call in a sub paid for by the Department of Education to cover these two categories.

All teachers will be required to sign up for the scheme, but for fewer hours than envisaged under Croke Park II. Teachers currently make themselves available for 37 hours a year to cover for absent colleagues. About 90pc of primary teachers and 60pc at second-level sign up for it.

CONTRACT

While Croke Park II provided for teachers to be available for 49 hours of supervision and substitution work, this has been cut to 43. Teachers appointed after February 2012 who are currently required to commit to 49 hours under the scheme will see that reduced to 43.

The new proposals also include a commitment to set up an expert group to look at the growing problem of casualisation in teaching at second-level and lecturing at third-level.

Its first focus will be reducing the qualification period for the granting of a contract of indefinite duration (CID) from four years to three from 2014/15.

At third-level, the deal is also offering a process for the phased conversion of the hourly-paid assistant/associate lecturers to pro-rata assistant lecturer. Amendments to Croke Park II for third-level lecturers also mean that instead of discontinuing payments for exam marking, they would be reduced by 25pc.

Officials of the four education unions will meet separately in coming days to consider the proposals.

The executive of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) will meet today, the standing committee of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and executive of the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) will meet tomorrow and the executive of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) will meet on Friday.

Irish Independent

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