The Fórsa trade union is to ballot its school secretary members on a set of proposals designed to regularise their employment terms and conditions.
The draft proposals, follow the campaign for pay equality for school secretaries. Proposals were finalised yesterday at the Workplace Relations Commission.
As a result of the deal secretaries will no longer have to sign on during school breaks.
The proposals include a new pay scale aligned with civil service grade III clerical officer, a centralised payroll system and standardised arrangements for maternity leave, sick leave and annual leave.
Fórsa said that while the proposals did not include any substantial progress on pensions, the union reserved the right to press the case for suitable pension arrangements in the future.
Terms for grant funded school caretakers were also part of the negotiations. However, the proposals acknowledge a deficit of data on working terms and conditions for caretakers.
Fórsa’s head of Education Andy Pike said the negotiated proposals marked a timely departure from antiquated arrangements for grant paid school secretaries, a system first established in 1978: “For more than four decades most school secretaries found themselves employed under terms that left them on low pay, with irregular short-term contracts that force them to sign on during the summer holidays and other school breaks.
Former Secondary School Teacher and Sligo Councillor Marie Casserly says the moves are a fitting acknowledgment of the role that secretaries play in schools across the region.