Dáil Éireann - Volume 598 - 02 March, 2005

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

  221. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Science if her attention has been [1593] drawn to the fact that there are a number of secretaries in secondary schools who, due to the fact that their schools did not avail of the permanent post of school secretary in 1978, now find that despite long years of service they have no pension rights or status; the number of such secretaries in each county; if she will consider reviewing their situation to bring them in line with their colleagues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7284/05]

  Ms Hanafin: In the case of secondary schools, my Department provides funding towards the cost of secretarial services under two separate schemes. The first of these is the 1978-79 scheme for the employment of school secretaries in secondary schools, under which my Department meets the full cost of salary. Pension scheme arrangements apply since 1985 to secretaries employed under this scheme. The 1978-79 scheme is being phased out as posts become vacant and no new posts are being created.

The 1978-79 scheme has been superseded by a more extensive school support grant scheme towards the funding of ancillary services in schools including secretarial services. The scheme, by its nature, is flexible and gives schools discretion as to the manner in which secretarial services are provided. It has been a matter for the schools in question to determine such matters as to whether to employ one or more secretaries, the hours of employment, their pay and general terms and conditions. In the case of such employees, I understand secondary schools have been advised by their representative managerial body regarding the right of such employees to contribute to personal retirement savings accounts, PRSAs.