Our school community is fortunate to have a school secretary who sets a wonderful welcoming tone to the many who make enquiries at the office. Our secretary processes a huge amount of confidential information, helps every single member of staff every day, keeps calm when worry clouds begin to build, relays all kinds of messages in a cheerful manner, phones home when a child is sick, reassures the child and regularly cleans cut knees and applies plasters.

Unfortunately, the Department of Education and Skills does not acknowledge the valuable role of the school secretary.

How can we support school secretaries? Elections will take place this year. In addition to lobbying about our ‘Meet the Kids behind the Cuts’ campaign, tell your local representatives about this issue. Below are more details from the INTO website:

This Friday, 10 January, school secretaries represented by Fórsa will hold a national one-day strike and commence a work-to-rule campaign from Friday until further notice as they escalate their industrial action.

Fórsa is seeking to address a two-tier pay system, which leaves most school secretaries earning just €12,500 a year, and on irregular short-term contracts with many having to sign on for unemployment benefits during the school holidays. The INTO supports the campaign to stand up for our school secretaries and their claim for fair treatment.

Following the one-day strike, FÓRSA school secretaries will also escalate their work-to-rule campaign to include a boycott of the OLCS system, ESINET, POD, FSSU and local in-house database systems such as VSware and Aladdin Schools.