Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan – Monaghan Niamh Smyth has called on the Minister for Education to immediately provide pay cheques to substitute teachers whose pay has been severely cut due to incorrectly applied emergency tax.
Deputy Smyth was commenting as it emerged that an end date was incorrectly applied by Department of Education payroll software to files transmitted to Revenue, leading to teachers being treated as new employees, and as a result emergency tax was applied to their pay.
Deputy Smyth explained, “This software problem has affected substitute staff paid on the 3rd, 10th and 17th of January so far, representing 8% of the payees on the payrolls and almost the entire month of January. To make matters worse, the Minister was unable to commit to a date on which the issue would be resolved.
“It is deeply shocking that the Minister for Education believes that it is ok that substitute teachers are expected to take unexpected deductions to their pay because of errors in the Department of Education’s own payroll software. It is highly inappropriate that they are left waiting for refunds until the Department of Education and Revenue can get their act together.
“At this stage, the Department of Education should simply write cheques to the teachers affected. Some teachers have seen their pay reduced by €500 and are wondering how they will pay their rent this month; others won’t be able to afford their childcare.
“This is just another in a long line of issues with pay as some substitute teachers were not paid for the final week of December as a result of other issues related to the modernisation process.This would not be accepted in the private sector.
“The Minister needs to take responsibility for this issue, and pay these teachers what they are owed regardless of how long it takes to resolve this issue”, concluded Deputy Smyth.