Thursday 27 November 2014

Teachers to lose supervision and substitution pay under new deal

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Published 22/02/2013 | 04:00

TEACHERS will lose their supervision and substitution pay – which costs the Government €125m a year – under a likely new pay deal.

However, sources said a compromise may be reached that means the payments are still made to teachers on short-term contracts or minimum hours.

They said this was a preferred option for education unions, rather than an increase in the working week or a longer school year.

College lecturers will lose €9m a year in allowances for correcting exams under government plans tabled at talks on a new Croke Park deal.

They also face cuts to 'legacy payments' made to lecturers for carrying out extra duties.

The exam allowances, which are paid to entry-level lecturers, are worth around €4 per script.

University teachers are also likely to face pay cuts that will hit all "highly-paid" public servants, which the Government wants to apply to salaries over €60,000 a year.

Mike Jennings of the Irish Federation of University Teachers said third-level staff had already suffered a 25pc reduction in pay, and this was "enough".

"I pointed out that serious damage could be done if management didn't take into account where functions are performed for certain allowances, and where others are holding on to a rate of pay, and they are withdrawn willy nilly," he said.

Education staff must deliver €350m of the €1bn payroll savings sought over the next three years, the second largest contribution by a single group of workers after the health sector.

The Defence Forces have been asked to sacrifice a €4.6m border allowance, paid despite the closure of barracks in the border region, as well as a specialised instructor's allowance.

It has also emerged that public servants may have to work two or three extra hours a week, depending on their working week, instead of five hours under a compromise being brokered.

And the single largest contribution to the €1bn payroll target will come from cuts to the wages of high earners.

Critical

The Government wants a threshold for wage reductions between €60,000 and €70,000, either by making staff 'step back' an increment or a straight pay cut.

Talks will enter a critical phase at the weekend as the chief negotiators try to get a fair deal for 290,000 public servants, all on vastly different terms and conditions.

But pressure has mounted to reach a deal ahead of next week's deadline for the conclusion of talks, as gardai begin work-to-rule action today.

The chief union negotiators fear that more unions will pursue their own agenda to avoid cuts at the expense of others.

The largest public sector union said it was "arguably easier" to walk away from discussions.

IMPACT spokesman Bernard Harbor said the union did not agree with government policy, but had been told "in no uncertain terms" that another €1bn was being taken out of the pay and pensions bill regardless.

Irish Independent

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