Fianna Fáil’s Education Spokesperson, Thomas Byrne TD has called on the Minister for Education to address the two tier pay structure for school secretaries. At present, just 10% of the 3,500 school secretaries across the country are employed by the Department of Education. The remaining 90% are paid for out of school funding which supports their wages, caretakers and other school supplies.

Commenting on the matter Deputy Byrne stated “The 90% of school secretaries paid for out of school funding do not have the same safeguards in place and are often at a disadvantage when it comes to sick leave, certainty of hours or pay increases. Many are faced with applying for social welfare during summer months.

“School secretaries are expected to take on more responsibilities than ever, from assisting principals with complex administration, to organising fundraising for school events, and yet some are doing it for as little as €12,702 per year. Similar roles in both the public and private sector would start at almost double that. The time has come for the Minister for Education to grasp this straw.

“The Minister must engage with representatives to bring forward proposals to support school secretaries to a level which recognises the excellent work they do. In fairness to schools, they have been limited by the funds available through the ancillary grant and this is something which must be addressed,” concluded Deputy Byrne.