Discussions have continued with Government officials to determine the rate of pay for school secretaries who are transferring to public service clerical officer pay scales as part of a recent deal won by Fórsa.
The union says the department has made a number of offers, which show genuine progress but have yet to meet the full expectation of members.
The parties have agreed that the public service clerical officer scale will be used, and that the scale will be increased in line with future public service pay awards. It is also agreed upon that secretaries will receive one increment per year, and will progress to the top of the pay scale regardless whether they assimilate below the maximum of the scale.
In order to address the problem of lay-offs, proposals are being developed to allow secretaries to be paid the equivalent value of job seekers benefit by their employer, thus removing the need for staff to sign on.
Fórsa’s head of education, Andy Pike, has asserted that even though the final assimilation point has not been agreed upon, they must move on to discuss other issues.
"Although we have not agreed the final assimilation points we now need to move on to discuss the conditions of service such as sick pay, annual leave and the structure of a new contract. Once these points have been covered, outstanding issues, including assimilation points, will need to be resolved with the help of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) before a final package be put to members in a ballot.
"I appreciate that this process is taking longer than anticipated. However it is important to make sure the details are clear and the final outcome is as beneficial as we can make it. Once discussions on secretaries have concluded, talks on arrangements for caretakers will commence using the same principles,” he said.
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