ON November 26 taxpayers face a huge bill in meeting back-pay claims by part-time teachers according to information released to Fine Gael Education Spokesman, Brian Hayes TD.
Deputy Hayes added that it was previously indicated that meeting the back-pay bill for the 1,000 teachers that are owed wages will be in the region of €45 million and it is ridiculous that, with only two weeks until that cash is in teachers’ pay packets, Batt O’Keeffe is refusing to confirm the amount involved.
“The taxpayer faces a huge financial bill as a result of the incompetence of the Department of Education and the unwillingness of Batt O’Keeffe to address the issue.
“He has known about this problem for 16 months. In July of 2008, it was announced that two teachers were awarded €100,000 in salary arrears and, at that point, Minister O’Keeffe had already known of the problem for months.
“This issue arose as a result of the Department of Education’s failure to implement the Protection of Employees (Part-Time) Work Act 2001. As a result of this, an unknown number of teachers were not paid their full salaries. This was previously believed to be in the region of €45 million.
“However, the Minister will not confirm how much cash is needed to meet the back-pay claims despite asking his officials for that figure well over a year ago. With only two weeks to go until these claims are in teachers’ pay packets, it is ridiculous that Batt O’Keeffe states that he is unaware of the final cost to the taxpayer,” he said.