February 24, 2022
Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD commends school secretaries and caretakers on negotiating deal

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has saluted school secretaries and caretakers for securing a deal at the WRC.

Speaking today from Leinster House, the Cork South Central TD said that they had shown immense fortitude through the campaign, and that Sinn Féin would continue to support their campaign.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“School secretaries and caretakers have had to fight far too long for respect, for decent pay and conditions. They have had to fight for every inch and today is no different.

“Before today’s WRC hearing the Government’s position was that secretaries had to sign on in the summer.

“I am glad that they and their union were able to move the Government on key issues such as pay roll and signing on.

“Well done to school secretaries and caretakers on securing a deal. Despite much disrespect from Government over many years they have been determined and resolute, and I want to commend them for that.

“Sinn Féin has long supported the campaign of school secretaries and caretakers for equal treatment. We will back the campaign on their next course of action, and it is for the secretaries and caretakers themselves to decide that.

“There are issues to be pursued, and I urge the Government to build on this and find agreement on pension entitlements. That is still stated Government policy.

“On 8th October 2020, Leo Varadkar in the Dáil gave a commitment on behalf of Government that it was the government’s intention to ‘regularise the employment, terms and conditions and pension rights of school secretaries & caretakers’.

“So I would urge that this should not to be treated as a final agreement, but instead to build on this, and find agreement on that key issue.

“However, getting this far is a huge achievement on the part of the secretaries and caretakers and would not have happened without determined campaigning, persistent lobbying and union work.”

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