Teachers' allowances to be reviewed, says Quinn


PROPOSALS RELATING to public service allowances would shortly be brought to Cabinet by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, the Dáil was told.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said the Government had reaffirmed the key commitments under the public service agreement, including that there would be no further reductions in pay rates for serving public servants.

“These commitments are contingent on delivery of the required flexibilities and reforms to public service delivery,” he added.

Mr Quinn said allowances paid to teachers formed only a part of the overall remit of the review.

“It would not be appropriate for me at this stage to comment on any specific subset of allowances, pending the outcome of the review and its consideration by Government,” he added.

“I have made and, of course, will make my views on these issues known in the appropriate fora.”

Mr Quinn was replying to Fianna Fáil education spokesman Brendan Smith, who asked if he would be seeking to ensure that all teachers’ allowances would be protected under the review.

Mr Smith said he understood from the Minister’s comments at the teachers’ union conferences that he was conscious allowances were part of the core pay of teachers and formed part of the Croke Park agreement.

The agreement, said Mr Smith, had delivered benefits.

“As Fianna Fáil was part of the government that negotiated that agreement, I consider it important that it continues to work and bring further benefits in the delivery of services to the public and better management of the public service,” he added.

Mr Smith asked Mr Quinn to state clearly that the agreement would not be reneged upon.

“It is often forgotten by the public, although not by the Minister, that there needs to be an incentive for people to engage in ongoing professional development,” he added. “There must be an incentive and a reward for that.”