The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue has called on Education Minister Ruairí Quinn to explain why so many retired teachers are still being employed by his Department, while graduate teachers can’t find work.
According to new figures supplied to Deputy McConalogue by Minister Quinn, there were 153 retired teachers on the payroll in December. The majority, 128, were in substitute teaching jobs, mostly at primary level.
Deputy McConalogue has described the situation as extremely wasteful, at a time when so many graduate teachers can’t find work.
“I am struggling to understand why so many retired teachers, who are already earning pensions, are being employed to fill valuable teaching posts when there are thousands graduate teachers looking for work,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“These posts may not permanent, but at a time when there are very few jobs for teachers, these roles provide opportunities for graduates to get a foot on the career ladder, gain valuable teaching experience and earn a pay cheque.
“Graduates have far more to gain from this than retired teachers, who have reached the end of their careers and are already earning pensions. These are 153 jobs that could have been of huge benefit to young teachers looking to get into the workplace. It is hugely disappointing that the salary and the experience went to retired teachers instead.
“I tackled Minister Quinn about this issue before last summer and his explanation was some teachers who had officially retired were re-employed to see out the reminder of the school term, so that disruption to students would be minimised. But that time has come and gone. We are half way through the next academic year and the latest figures show that graduate teachers and those who looking for work are still missing out. The Minister must explain why this is the case and outline what he plans to do to ensure that all available roles, including substitute and casual roles, will be offered to those who need it most.”