Fianna Fáil has called on the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn to immediately explain why his department has rehired 67 retired primary school teachers instead of giving the jobs to qualified teachers who are out of work.
In response to a series of Parliamentary Questions from Deputy Smith, Minister Quinn has admitted that 254 retired secondary school teachers and 67 retired primary school teachers have been rehired by his Department.
Deputy Smith commented, “New figures show that there are now 8,674 teachers on the Live Register as well as thousands more teaching graduates that have not been able to start a career here yet. However instead of these unemployed teachers being given the opportunity of work, Minister Quinn’s Department have hired retired teachers in receipt of pensions to fill a number of key vacant posts at primary and secondary schools across the country.
“While there may be an argument for keeping retired secondary school teachers in their positions in the short term until after this year’s State Examinations, there is absolutely no justification for rehiring retired primary school teachers. These jobs must be given to graduates who want to start a career in Ireland or to unemployed teachers who cannot find work.
“Last week Fianna Fáil published an in-depth policy on tackling youth unemployment. This includes proposals to ensure that no retired public servant is rehired ahead of someone suitably qualified on the live register. Under our strategy, each Government Department would be obliged to prove that it has made every effort to find a suitably qualified young graduate before hiring a retired public servant.
“I am calling on Minister Quinn to explain why unemployed teachers have been overlooked in favour of retired teachers for the vacant primary school posts in particular. I am also calling on him to consider Fianna Fáil’s proposals to introduce a fairer and more transparent policy of filling vacancies in the public service so that unemployed graduates are given every opportunity to begin their career in Ireland.”