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School secretaries prepare for industrial action this Friday after talks break down

The union’s head of education, Andy Pike, said the department didn’t offer any credible proposals.

Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

SCHOOL SECRETARIES AROUND the country are due to strike this Friday after talks with the Government broke down without agreement today. 

Union Forsa said there was no breakthrough on any of the issues and industrial action by school secretaries is now set to go ahead on Friday 

The action will commence from 20 September, when school secretaries will engage in a short work stoppage at the start of the school day. Thereafter, they will commence a significant work to rule.

Forsa said that the dispute is over the education department’s “refusal to address a two-tier pay system that leaves most earning just €12,500 a year, with irregular, short-term contracts that force them to sign on during the summer holidays and other school breaks”.

The union’s head of education, Andy Pike, said the department didn’t offer any credible proposals to end what he described as “the pay injustice facing most of the country’s school secretaries”.

He said: “The two-tier low-pay regime for school secretaries has been in force for more than four decades. In that time we’ve seen little if any serious engagement from the Department of Education. This morning’s meeting failed to deliver any progress whatsoever.

“We didn’t raise our expectations when we met with them today. Nothing was tabled by officials from the department to end this long-standing pay injustice. Our focus now is the industrial action that’s set to commence on Friday,” he said.

School secretaries are set to engage in a brief one hour work stoppage at the start of the school day. Secretaries will protest outside their school, or may join with colleagues at another school protest for the duration of the stoppage.

Protests will take place at 250 schools across the country, while up to a thousand schools are expected to be affected by the stoppage.

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