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School secretaries angered by ‘insulting’ Government offer at the WRC – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

3 August, 2021 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has said that the Minister for Education must urgently engage with school secretaries and their representatives in their campaign to secure pay equality.

This follows anger in the sector, arising from a lowball offer from the Department of Education at the WRC, falling far short of promises given by Tanáiste Leo Varadkar in the Dáil in October.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“Back in October, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar gave a commitment in the Dáil that the government were going to address the longstanding pay and employment issues that secretaries were facing, and finally secure pay equality and pension entitlement for school secretaries.

"We haven't had sight nor sound of this since.

“Instead, the offer brought by the Department of Education to the WRC is in stark contrast to Varadkar’s promises. Indeed it is insulting.

“Even at the highest point of the 5-point pay scale being offered, the secretaries involved will still be €12,000 below the maximum salary of their colleagues carrying out the same work in ETB schools.

"This is not the pay equality that secretaries have been repeatedly promised by the Minister and her colleagues.

“There was no offer at all brought forward by the Department to address conditions or pension entitlements. This is not good enough.

“This campaign has been going on for decades now. Secretaries deserve better.

“Secretaries are not asking for the earth; all they want is the pay equality, improved working conditions and pensions that they are entitled to.

“I have written to the Minister for Education, seeking a meeting with her to discuss this issue as a matter of urgency.

“As long as equal and fair pay, and better working conditions are not provided to all school secretaries, I am sure that this campaign will continue. I and my colleagues in Sinn Féin will support the school secretaries all the way."

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