Dáil Éireann - Volume 532 - 20 March, 2001

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

486. Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands if she will have investigations made into a complaint that an instruction issued on 5 July 1982 (details supplied) to personnel in Dúchas is being ignored and as a result written and verbal queries to Dúchas personnel section are not being answered; if the queries raised regarding payment of subsistence allowance will be dealt with by [1275] issuing a comprehensive reply or explanation to all staff concerned; the reason operatives on industrial grades in Kilkenny Castle and in Kilkenny national monuments depot are in receipt of four different subsistence rates despite the fact that it would appear they should be on the one scale; the workers who are in receipt of or qualify for subsistence rates C, D and E on the subsistence rates effective from 1 January 2000 by job title; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7513/01]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): The document of 5 July 1982 referred to by the Deputy deals with the travelling and subsistence regulations applicable to established Civil Service grades, which are covered by the general council agreements under the scheme of conciliation and arbitration for the Civil Service. The terms of this document have always been applied to the relevant grades in my Department. The specific queries, which I believe the Deputy is referring to, relate to a small number of non-established (industrial) staff. This has been the subject of discussion between the trade unions concerned and the personnel division of my Department. Action has already been taken to resolve the issue and the trade unions are being advised accordingly.

There are a number of subsistence and meal allowances applicable to industrial staff depending on their grade, work location and commencement date. These allowances have all been the subject of agreement at national level with the trade unions concerned. In the case of Kilkenny the local trade unions have been supplied with written details. Some aspects of allowances are currently the subject of discussion at the National Joint Industrial Council for State Employees, which is the relevant central negotiating body. My Department will also be responding to the local trade unions regarding another specific issue, which they have raised on the subject of qualifying conditions.

The following grades in my Department ordinarily qualify for class C, D and E rates of subsistence under the Department of Finance Circular (11/82):–

Class C Rate: general service staff in the executive officer grade, whose pay is below the maximum point of the scale for clerical officer and equivalents; Industrial staff in the grades of foremen; storekeeper clerks grades I and II and storekeeper clerks in charge; office and stores supervisors; supervisor guides and work study assessors grades I, II and III.

Class D Rate: general service staff in the clerical officer grade whose pay is at or below the 8th point on the scale for clerical officers and equivalents.

Class E Rate: service officers and related grades.