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O’Dowd confirms funding for payments to low paid staff

Education Minister, John ODowd, has made funding available in the current financial year to allow payments of 250 to be made to low paid staff in the education sector.
Thursday, 14 March 2013

The payments, for staff earning less than £21,000 a year, reflected the decision across the public sector to provide additional payments to low paid staff at a time when a pay freeze was effective. Certain education bodies had made the payment to staff in 2010/11, but had found it not affordable in 2011/12. The Minister’s move will pave the way for these staff to receive their second payment.

Mr O’Dowd also announced that he has made funding available so that eligible staff in Voluntary Grammar Schools and the Grant Maintained Integrated sector, who have yet to receive a payment for either year, would receive their money.

Mr O’Dowd said: “When a decision was made to impose a two-year freeze on public sector pay, it was recognised that those on lower incomes should receive some uplift to their pay. As a result, all eligible staff were to receive a £250 payment for each year, prorated for part-time staff.

“Many staff across the education sector were affected and the payments have already been made to the majority of those who were entitled. In some instances, however, the payments remain outstanding.

“Due to affordability issues, staff in some bodies, including the Education and Library Boards, have not yet received payment for 2011/12. Today I can inform these staff that I have made funding available to ensure they do not miss out on this money.

“In relation to eligible staff in Voluntary Grammar Schools and the Grant Maintained Integrated sector, I can confirm that I have made funding available so that they will also receive these payments.

“Due to public sector pay policy, a process must be followed to obtain required approvals before any pay related expenditure is incurred. In the case of these payments, it will require the completion and approval of pay remits for all the eligible staff concerned.

“I will do all within my powers to ensure that the £250 payments are made without unnecessary delay and staff receive the payments they are entitled to.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.