Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has said the unacceptable two tier pay structure for school secretaries cannot be allowed to continue for 2019. Deputy Byrne was commenting following a meeting with representatives who are campaigning to address the pay discrepancies.

Deputy Byrne explained, “As it stands 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.

“What this means is that the remaining 90% do not enjoy the same benefits as their counterparts. They have no safeguards, no pensions, no sick leave entitlements, and no incremental pay scale increases. The wage gap between two individuals carrying out the same job is often in excess of 10,000 euro.

“The Minister must get to grips with this glaring anomaly and recognise the work of all school secretaries. School secretaries are expected to take on huge responsibilities, from complex administration to organising school events and training days. Talks must start as soon as possible between the Government and the trade union, in accordance with an adjudication of the WRC back in 2015”, concluded Deputy Byrne.