The Social Democrats have come out in strong support of school secretaries represented by Fórsa, who will go on strike tomorrow following unsatisfactory negotiations with the Workplace Relations Commission.

The current two-tier pay system leaves many school secretaries on unregulated, short-term contracts earning just €12,500 a year, a far cry from their counterparts in ETB schools.

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall commented, “The Social Democrats stand behind school secretaries 100 percent.

The current situation, where lack of pay regulation leaves many out of work in the summer months, is untenable and creates a wholly unfair pay disparity.

We find ourselves in a disgraceful situation where our school secretaries are forced to sign on during summer months and school breaks just to make ends meet.

“While the rest of the economy is anticipating on average 2-5% pay increases in 2020, the WRC offered only 1.5% to school secretaries in negotiations. It’s at best paltry and at worst insulting to the people who make sure our children’s schools are up and running every day. We cannot continue to keep education on the back burner and expect to deliver the best-quality education for children. It must be an absolute priority in Government.

“My colleagues in the Social Democrats and I will be attending strikes at our local schools in solidarity with school secretaries tomorrow morning, and I will also be supporting the protest at Leinster House. I urge all who can to do the same.”

The strike tomorrow (10th January) will take place at a number of schools across the country, with four protests taking place at the following locations:

  • DUBLIN: 1pm at Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
  • DONEGAL: 1pm at the constituency offices of Education Minister Joe McHugh, Grier House, Lower Main Street, Letterkenny
  • ATHLONE: 1pm at the Department of Education and Skills offices, Cornamaddy, Athlone
  • WATERFORD: 8:30am at the People’s Park, Newtown Road, Waterford

9 January 2020

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