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Government must intervene in school secretaries and caretakers dispute - Doherty

17 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has called on the Government to intervene in the dispute with school secretaries and caretakers and address the unacceptable situation which sees these workers across the state receive disparate rates of pay and conditions.

Senator Doherty was speaking today as school secretaries in Donegal began the first of a series of one day stoppages in a bid to address the situation.

Speaking from the protest Senator Doherty said, "School secretaries and caretakers provide a vital service to schools around the country and the fact they these people are being denied some of the most basic of workers rights is nothing less than scandalous.

"In my own county of Donegal a school secretary was found to be working for two schools where one paid €10 per hour and the other paid €7.70 per hour. This is completely unacceptable.

"School secretaries in Donegal are today beginning the first of a series of planned one day stoppages in a bid to address this situation. This means that schools in Donegal will be without the vital services of these staff for the day. Further work stoppages are planned throughout the state.

"It is imperative that the Government intervenes in this dispute before industrial action escalates. The Department of Education has a duty to ensure that all it's staff are in receipt of standardised rates of pay and equal conditions of work.

"A two tier system currently exists whereby secretaries and caretakers employed before 1990 enjoy fair pay and conditions while those employed after 1990 don't. This must be addressed immediately." ENDS

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