A breakthrough has been made in the school secretaries and caretakers’ dispute.
I was very pleased to assist in brokering an agreement for the secretaries’ and caretakers’ union Fórsa and the Department of Education to go into the Workplace Relations Commission with a view to reaching a resolution.
The secretaries and caretakers want the Department to end the two-tier system of payment which leaves many of them earning as little as €12,500 a year.
Only a few hundred of the country’s 3,500 school secretaries are paid directly by the Department.
Those paid indirectly have lower wages and no pension entitlements.
I attended meetings with Fórsa and the secretaries and this is a first, very important step towards entering negotiations with a view to getting an agreement.
The breakthrough follows industrial action by the secretaries which began with a one-hour stoppage on September 20 followed by a work to rule.
The Department of Education said in a statement this evening that it regretted the industrial action but was willing to participate in discussions with Fórsa at the Workplace Relations Commission.