Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education, Senator Averil Power, has said hit out at discrimination against graduate teachers as the State opts to hire retired teachers for exam posts.
According to new figures released to Fianna Fáil, almost 5,000 retired teachers were taken on to cover exam posts over the past three years. Last year alone, 1,057 retired teachers were taken on as exam supervisors and 471 retired teachers were taken on as examiners.
Senator Power has said young graduates who desperately need experience are being overlooked.
“It makes absolutely no sense that retired teachers who have finished their careers and are earning pensions are being hired for exam posts while new teaching graduates are desperately looking for work. As an employer, the State has a responsibility to lead by example and employ job seekers rather than retired workers,” said Senator Power.
“Every year we see retired teachers being re-employed by the Department of Education for substitute and supervision posts. On top of this, we now see that retired teachers are also being hired by the Department to take on exam supervision and correction posts. These are temporary summer jobs that mean nothing to retired teachers in the long-run, but would provide hugely beneficial experience to new graduates who are looking for teaching posts.
“The Department of Education is taking an extremely short term view on this. Where is the sense in paying retired teachers, who are already in receipt of a pension, to take on summer work while many newly qualified teachers are stuck on the dole? Not only is it a waste of resources and a waste of young talent, it send out absolutely the wrong message to young graduates about their future careers here at home in Ireland.
“Unless the State starts prioritising graduates, we will continue to see young people forced to go abroad for work. As we head into exam season, I am calling on the Minister for Education to immediately make a commitment to changing the practise of hiring retired teachers for work that can easily be done by young teachers in need of jobs.”