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Minister for Education cannot sit back while school secretaries sign-on over summer - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

10 February, 2022 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has today called on the Minister for Education to intervene and deliver on her promises to school secretaries for fair pay and conditions, and to finally put an end to secretaries having to sign-on over the school holidays.

Speaking after engaging with the Minister Foley at a session of the Oireachtas Education Committee, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“School secretaries are the heart of every school; schools would cease to function without them. Yet, they continue to be completely disrespected by the Department of Education.

“School secretaries have been fighting for fair conditions and equal pay for decades. They feel that they have been duped by the government, given the Tánaiste gave a commitment nearly 18 months ago of regularising their employment, terms and conditions and pensions rights – a commitment that has never been delivered.

“Instead, school secretaries are expected to continue to work on an unequal wage, and to sign-on when school buildings are closed, putting them in an incredibly precarious position over the school holidays. 

“This afternoon in the Oireachtas Education Committee, I asked the Minister whether she was going to allow this incredibly unfair practice of having to sign-on over the holidays to continue. She would not give me a straight answer.

“School secretaries are sick of waiting, they are sick of being duped by the false promises of the Minister and her Cabinet colleagues. What they need is action, and a show of leadership from Minister Foley to make good on her promises once and for all.

“Until that is secured, Sinn Féin will continue to stand with school secretaries in their fight for equality and fair treatment.”

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