A series of rallies and strikes by school secretaries are taking place across the region today as part of a national day of action.
Today’s action by school secretaries represented by Fórsa trade union is to be followed by a resumption of their work to rule, which was suspended in October 2019 in order to facilitate discussions at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
The dispute is over the continuing two-tier pay system that leaves 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.
The vast majority of school secretaries working in Ireland are women.
The secretary of Balla National School, Ms. Bernie Roughneen, is among the thousand secretaries nationally staging a one-day strike today. She has been a secretary at Balla N.S., paid by the Board of Management, for the last 23 years.
She is joined in today's action by the School Principal Alma Egan. They are pictured here left to right: Alma Egan Principal, Bernie Roughneen Balla NS secretary and Lisa McElroy, St Anthony's school Castlebar - school secretary.
Some school secretaries are paid directly by the Department of Education and enjoy better pay and conditions than those employed by schools, some are paid directly by the State, employed by either the Department of Education or state education and training boards.School secretaries will also picket outside Education Minister Joe McHugh's constituency office in Donegal, outside Leinster House and other venues today.
Forsa's Niall Shanahan told Midwest News today that they will also go on industrial action next week.