Tuam-based Minister of State Sean Caney says he's hopeful that long-running dispute over wages and conditions for school secretaries can be resolved shortly, following a u-turn by Education Minister Joe McHugh.

The Department of Education had been refusing to attend talks at the Workplace Relations Commission in relation to the dispute, but has now said it's willing to participate in discussions with Forsa at the WRC.

There's a 2-tier system of payment for school secretaries -as only a small percentage are paid directly by the Department, and those paid indirectly have lower wages and no pension entitlements.

Deputy Séan Canney says he brokered the behind-the-scenes talks that led to Minister McHugh agreeing to talks with the trade union, and he hopes it's a breakthrough in the dispute which has been going on for decades....

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