Education staff save over €180 million

Wednesday 13th June 2012

Staff in the education sector delivered total payroll and non-pay savings of over €180 million in the second year of the Croke Park agreement. Payroll savings of just over €160 million made up the lion’s share.

The second annual report of the Croke Park implementation body, published today, identified €891 million in annualised payroll and non-pay savings delivered across the entire public service in the second year of the four-year agreement. This is in addition to savings of €597 million achieved in the first year, giving a total of €1.49 billion in ongoing annual savings so far.

Education staff levels have fallen by almost 4,200 (4.4%) since 2008, a period that also saw a 15% increase in higher education student numbers. Two-thirds of the staff reduction occurred in the year up to the end of March 2012.

Savings of €17 million were achieved through shared procurement in institutes of technology (ITs) and universities, while the report says the merger of Limerick and Tipperary institutes of technology will reduce the cost of each full-time student by over 60%, from €37,473 to €14,767. Meanwhile, a new contract for special needs assistants has delivered an additional 760,000 hours a year.

Progress was made on the implementation of a single student grant scheme, which will be in place for the 2012-2013 academic year, with the full transfer of functions phased over the coming 3-4 years. This will replace four schemes and be administered by one body, City of Dublin VEC, instead of 66.

Although it’s not specifically mentioned in the report, Government plans to reduce the number of VECs from 31 to 16 are also being implemented under the terms of the Croke Park agreement.

The report records a 23% increase in whole-school evaluations and an 8.5% increase in unannounced school inspections, despite a 17% reduction in the number of schools inspection staff. Inspections of primary school probation teachers also increased by 28%.

The redeployment of 950 surplus primary teachers saved €47.5 million while new redeployment arrangements for second level teachers eliminated a surplus of over 200, with savings of €10 million in a full year. Primary and secondary schools have also seen a reduction of 6,000 responsibility posts, with annual savings of €36 million.

University teachers have been working an extra hour a week since 2011, a year that also saw the first full-year implementation of increased teaching hours in schools and ITs.

Read the second annual report of the Croke Park implementation body, including a summary of main findings, HERE.

Read the first annual report of the Croke Park implementation body HERE.