Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has urged the Minister for Education to engage meaningfully with school secretaries and their representatives, to finally bring an end to decades of pay inequality and poor conditions.
The Cork South Central TD’s comments follow an announcement from Fórsa Trade Union that secretaries intend to strike on 15th September.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“Sinn Féin fully supports school secretaries in their decades-long campaign for pay equality, improved working conditions and pension entitlements.
“Strike action is the last thing that secretaries wanted. Their hand has been forced after years of poor treatment and inaction by successive governments.
“The insulting offer put forward by the Minister for Education at the WRC last month, which was far from securing pay equality, was the last straw.
“This government’s insulting behaviour towards school secretaries is particularly shocking and frustrating, given the Tánaiste gave a commitment back in October that his government would address this and finally secure pay equality and pension entitlements for secretaries.
“It is now obvious that this was an attempt to pull the wool over secretaries’ eyes. School secretaries have had enough of the false promises, they deserve far 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 a number of times, seeking a meeting with her to discuss this as a matter of urgency. I have heard nothing back from the Minister in response.
“The government cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand and hope that this will go away.
“Sinn Féin stands with the school secretaries in their campaign for equal and fair pay, better working conditions, and pension entitlements.
“As long as government continues to ignore these requests, I am sure that this campaign will continue, and I alongside my colleagues in Sinn Féin will support the secretaries all the way.