I’ve once again pledged my support for Fórsa and the school secretaries who deserve respect and fair conditions.
Fórsa’s ‘Support our Secretaries’ campaign for respect and fair conditions for all school secretaries has been ongoing since their launch in January. I’ve met with many school secretaries in South Kildare to voice my support for their campaign and will continue to support until they get the changes they deserve.
The union says that the current pay model in place for the vast majority of school secretaries means that they are being treated like second class employees by the government. Some 90% of school secretaries are paid through their school’s ancillary grant leaving some with very low wages and no entitlement to benefits such as sick pay or pension rights.
They have received huge levels of public and political support for our campaign, however despite this, to date the Department have been unwilling to engage in a meaningful way with the union’s claim to resolve this long-standing injustice. Negotiations held this morning with the DES failed to deliver any progress whatsoever.
As a result, school secretaries around the country have been left with no option but to take the unprecedented step of commencing their first ever industrial action last Friday. If the Minister and the Department do not engage then they may see a full industrial strike action from school secretaries and cause huge disruption for schools across the country.