Fórsa has had a number of recent successful industrial relations outcomes on behalf of individual members working in schools. Fórsa’s Education division has two industrial relations officers (IROs) on the team managing general industrial relations issues deal, providing support to individual members.
Fórsa official Shane Lambert explained: “Many of these cases are incredibly complex. Because they relate to individuals we can’t disclose names or details but we do want to make members aware of the important work that's being done.
“We had an instance where a member working in a school was to be made redundant and was informed by management that their statutory redundancy offer was €4,500. Following union intervention there was an extensive and robust consultation process, after which we secured a final settlement of €30,000 for the member.
“Other instances range from preventing schools from initiating inappropriate reviews or redundancy processes, and successful interventions in instances where SNAs were being expected to do inappropriate work outside of their contract terms,” he said.
Shane added that the union has also made representations to a number of schools to clarify misconceptions around SNA working hours, and preventing unilateral changes to hours, working patterns or terms and conditions in a number of cases.
He added: “Our IROs, Dave Sexton and Liz Fay, have been doing great work supporting members in schools on general industrial relations issues, and we’ve had some significant success in many of these cases, demonstrating the clear and tangible benefits of union membership.
“These complement the work that Fórsa has been doing at national level, where we continue to make significant progress on behalf of our members working in schools,” he said.
Shane added that the union has sought the resumption of the WRC process on Fórsa’s claim for bereavement leave, which is seeking parity with the arrangements enjoyed elsewhere in the civil and public service. He said: “The process had paused to allow for further discussions with stakeholders and was delayed further on foot of pandemic. However, as there has been no progress since, we have written to the WRC seeking the process is reconvened as a matter of priority.”
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