Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education & Skills Charlie McConalogue has hit out at the Education Minister after it emerged that retired teachers are still being hired for Superintendents and Examiners for the duration of the State exams. In response to a Parliamentary Question from Deputy McConalogue, it was revealed that more than 1,000 retired teachers were appointed as Superintendents and another 471 were employed as Examiners last year.
Deputy McConalogue commented, “It makes absolutely no sense that the Minister is continuing to sanction jobs for teachers who have retired and are receiving state pensions, when there are so many newly graduated teachers struggling to find work. Many graduate teachers are unable to secure permanent positions and are living from year to year without any security. Some, who have been working as substitutes or on fixed term contracts are faced with the prospect of signing on the dole over the summer because there is no work for them. These teachers should be given priority over those who have reached retirement age.
“Despite promises to prioritise unemployed teachers, the figures released to me by the State Examinations Commission tell a very different story. Over the past three years almost 5,000 retired teachers were re-hired for Superintendent and Examiner duty. These jobs may not be permanent but it gives recent graduates and younger teachers an opportunity to work within the education system and develop skills, rather than being forced to sign on over the summer months.
“Minister Jan O’Sullivan needs to take charge of this situation and ensure that these jobs go to unemployed and recently graduated teachers. The over reliance on retired teachers must be ended and a policy must be put in place to ensure that all efforts are made to employ graduates or teachers on temporary contracts. The Minister must explain why the practice of rehiring retired teachers is continuing and how she intends to rectify the situation”.