Kilkenny school secretaries strike over pay and contracts
Kilkenny school secretaries are taking part in a national strike in response to what they say is an unfair two-tier pay system and unjust contracts.
The Forsa trade union members travelled to Waterford’s People’s Park this morning to join other members in the region taking part in the first-ever strike by education administrative staff, while others are protesting outside school gates in Kilkenny.
The strike follows a resumption of a work to rule which was suspended in October 2019 to allow discussions to be held at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
The school secretaries claim that due to a two-tier pay system it leaves most of them making 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 Forsa trade union claim they were left with no choice to hold the strike and resume the work to rule after the secretaries were offered an ‘insulting and derisory’ offer of 1.5% pay hike at the WRC last month.
Fórsa represents more than half of the estimated 2,000 school secretaries employed directly by their school’s board of management and paid from the school’s ancillary grant.
Most of the remaining estimated 1,000 school secretaries are employed directly through Education and Training Boards (ETBs), while a very small number, who were hired before 1978, are directly employed by the Department of Education.