Gallagher raises concern over employment conditions for school secretaries

Published on: 18 December 2017

Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher has called on the Minister for Education to undertake an investigation into the terms and conditions of employment for some school secretaries.

The Fianna Fáil Senator raised the issue last week in the Seanad and pointed out that many school secretaries have precarious working conditions and lack any sense of job security.

Senator Gallagher said, “School secretaries preform a vital role in our education system. They are the link between pupils, teachers and parents and many principals will say their school would not function properly without the school secretary.

“There are two groups of school secretary, those that are paid directly by the Department of Education and Skills and those paid out of the ancillary grant. The secretaries paid by the Department enjoy standard terms and conditions but the secretaries paid out of the ancillary grant are in a very different situation. Their terms and conditions are precarious as they do not have any meaningful sense of job security.

“Secretaries paid out of the ancillary grant are forced to sign on during their holidays, whether at Christmas, summer or Easter, and this is very unfair. They carry out the same tasks as all other school secretaries yet are treated entirely different by their employer. I believe this is wrong and the Government should set about correcting the problem.

“I’m calling on Minister for Education Richard Bruton to investigate this issue and ensure all secretaries are treated equally in our schools,” concluded Senator Gallagher.

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