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Thursday, September 23, 2021

School secretaries to go on strike over pay inequality

School secretaries will be going on strike on the 15th of September over issues regarding pay inequality.

The one-day strike will be staged in response to a “four-decade system of pay inequality”, according to trade union Fórsa.

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A national rally will be held on the same day and pickets are scheduled to take place outside the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure, which Fórsa have accused of blocking the implementation of the government’s commitment to standardise pay and conditions for school secretaries.

According to Fórsa, school secretaries earn just €12,500 a year and are forced to sign on during the summer holidays and other school breaks due to irregular short-term contracts.

They stated that it’s been a year since Tánaiste Leo Varadkar spoke on the matter and provided a commitment to end the pay inequality issues that school secretaries face.

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After the dispute was referred to the Workplace Relations Commission, the Department of Education offered an increase of 50 cent an hour, a pay increase that Fórsa described as “derisory”.

The union’s head of education ‘Andy Pike’ stated that the department’s offer fails spectacularly to meet the commitment made by the Tánaiste last October.

After being promised an end to the four-decade pay inequality, Pike stated, “School secretaries have again been let down by their employers and by the Government.”

“They had a reasonable expectation that a solution would be in place by now. They have campaigned and made their case, which has won broad public and political response.”

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