I welcome the overwhelming endorsement by school secretaries who voted in favour of accepting the Department of Education’s offer of improved pay and conditions.

“The Department of Education, school management bodies and Fórsa have been engaging on a claim relating to terms and conditions for grant-funded school secretaries under the auspices of the Work Relations Commission.
Under the terms of this new agreement school secretaries’ pay rates will move to a scale which is aligned with the Clerical Officer Grade III pay scale on a pro-rata basis according to a secretary’s current working pattern.
These pay increases will be backdated to 1st September 2021 while the terms and conditions also cater for lower-paid but longer serving secretaries to be placed higher up the salary scale”.

A new contract will give the option to secretaries that they no longer need to apply to the Department of Social Protection for payment of benefits for periods when they are not working due to school holidays.

Proposals have also been made in relation to issues surrounding annual leave, maternity benefit, and sick pay while an allocation of 22 days annual leave (on a pro rata basis according to a secretary’s current working pattern) is also proposed.

Last month Fórsa opted to recommend to its members the enhanced pay agreement and today’s ballot was passed overwhelmingly with 95% of secretaries in favour of the deal.
This has been a long campaign and follows on from sustained lobbying by school secretaries in highlighting the unfair and unjust and unequal pay scales that prevailed.
“I acknowledge the work of Luisa Carty in keeping the issue on the agenda locally and I also want to commend Forsa for their commitment and their work on the campaign. I also acknowledge the commitment of the Tánaiste to me in the Dáil in October 2020 which set the tone for this agreement”.

“School Secretaries are the beating heart of school communities and I am pleased that today’s ballot will provide further recognition of the excellent work carried out by school secretaries on a daily basis”.