School secretaries confirm strike action to take place in January
A suggested pay rise was referred to as "insulting and derisory".
School secretaries across Ireland have confirmed that there will be one day of strike action, set to take place on Friday 10 January 2020, after a pay rise offer was rejected.
The secretaries, represented by Forsa trade union, will issue the strike action to school principals this week, with the union's head of education, Andy Pike, stating that the department had failed to bring forward any proposals on pay capable of resolving the issue:
"The offer to school secretaries was 1.5%. An offer we can only describe as insulting. Regrettably the only way to increase pressure on the employer's side is to escalate the industrial action."
Talks regarding the issue have been ongoing since October, as the secretaries requesting the Department of Education to address the pay system that reportedly results in "most school secretaries earning just €12,500 a year, with irregular, short-term contracts that force them to sign on during the summer holidays and other school breaks."
Pike continued: "In the context of broader pay trends, the offer of 1.5% is derisory and falls far short of what it would take to resolve a pay disparity that successive governments have allowed to fester for four decades.
"Our aim in this process is to ensure school secretaries and caretakers are afforded the opportunity to work in a system that properly reflects their huge value to the school community.
"This offer doesn’t even come close to achieving that goal, and it’s possible the Government has completely underestimated the resolve of school secretaries to get a meaningful result on this."