Blackboard jungle for TDs
ONE of the most extraordinary perks enjoyed by Dail deputies applies to those of them who have worked as teachers. They can keep their teaching jobs indefinitely -- in some cases, for half a lifetime. Substitutes are appointed to do the actual work. And if the former teachers keep up their pension contributions, they benefit handsomely.
Two years ago, this remarkable anomaly became the subject of public controversy. A compromise was arrived at, which offers an unflattering insight into the mindset of so many Irish politicians.
Under the new arrangement, they will be allowed to keep their teaching jobs for two Dail terms. During this period, they will not be allowed to chalk up teaching and Oireachtas pensions at the same time. If they return to work in education, they will not, as at present, receive higher pay.