• A series of rallies and strikes by school secretaries are taking place across the region today as part of a national day of action.

    Today’s action by school secretaries represented by Fórsa trade union is to be followed by a resumption of their work to rule, which was suspended in October 2019 in order to facilitate discussions at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

    The dispute is over the continuing two-tier pay system that leaves most school secretaries earning 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 vast majority of school secretaries working in Ireland are women.

    The secretary of Balla National School, Ms. Bernie Roughneen, is among the thousand secretaries nationally staging a one-day strike today. She has been a secretary at Balla N.S., paid by the Board of Management, for the last 23 years.

    She is joined in today's action by the School Principal Alma Egan. They are pictured here left to right: Alma Egan Principal, Bernie Roughneen Balla NS secretary and Lisa McElroy, St Anthony's school Castlebar - school secretary.

    Some school secretaries are paid directly by the Department of Education and enjoy better pay and conditions than those employed by schools, some are paid directly by the State, employed by either the Department of Education or state education and training boards.School secretaries will also picket outside Education Minister Joe McHugh's constituency office in Donegal, outside Leinster House and other venues today.

    Forsa's Niall Shanahan told Midwest News today that they will also go on industrial action next week.

  • Delegates from the Fórsa trade union's education division have backed an emergency motion calling on the Government  to complete the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations to staff within all special education schools.

    It said the vaccination schedule should take account of the fact that SNAs in schools provide the same level of care to students as frontline healthcare workers.

    The motion came after Minister for Education Norma Foley addressed the union's conference, which is taking place online today.

    Minister Foley reiterated her defence of the Government decision to change the vaccine rollout programme from an occupation-based approach, to one led by age.

  • Pilots union Forsa says they're ready to get back to talks with Ryanair to try to resolve the ongoing dispute.

    20 flights will be cancelled next Friday as around 100 Irish-based pilots stage a 4th day of industrial action.

    It's part of a row over seniority, base transfers and annual leave.

    The 3,500 passengers affected will get a refund or be accommodated on another flight.

  • School secretaries are due at the talks table today in their dispute about what they say is a two tier pay system.

    They currently earn around 12,500 euro a year without holiday pay and pensions. This includes many school secretaries in this region.

    They say they are carrying out the same duties as secretaries employed by education and training boards, who have full public service conditions.

    Head of education with Forsa Andy Pike says the Minister for Finance needs to engage with the secretaries.

  • School secretaries across the region will take industrial action this Friday, in a row with the Department of Education over pay. 

    A meeting between department officials and the Forsa trade union ended this morning without agreement. 

    Forsa says most secretaries earn just 12,500 euro a year and have to sign-on during school holidays. 

    Secretaries at up to 1,000 schools across the country will engage in a one-hour work stoppage on Friday morning, and will commence a work-to-rule thereafter.





  • Secretaries in schools across the country are to go on strike later this month.
    The trade union Fórsa says their members have backed industrial action in a national ballot.
    The action will get underway on the 20th of September.
    Barry Cunningham from Fórsa claims that Department of Education officials have refused to discuss proposals to overcome a two-tier pay system that has been in place for more than four decades.