It's not always clear what is and what is not part of an SNA’s job. While the SNA contract and circular 30 of 2014
gives a lot of guidance, there are still some ‘grey’ areas.
There are different ways of deciding what to do if you are asked to carry out a task that is not included in the contract or the circular. One way you can look at it is to ask if it would cause ‘displacement’.
Displacement is, basically, when you are doing the job of another person. If you feel that a task you are being asked to do falls under the remit of another job it shouldn’t be carried out without at least seeking guidance from your local reps.
There are many different roles and jobs within a school community. The teacher has a specific job, the principal has a specific job, the school secretary has a specific job and a caretaker has a specific job. We need to make sure that we do not carry out any tasks that impinge on their roles.
But what if there is nobody else to do it?
This does not really matter, it still shouldn’t be done because if we do it then the school will have no need to hire the right person for the job.
As part of the professionalisation of the SNA role, we need to be clearer about what tasks we are and are not prepared to carry out. Refusing to do a task that is in your job description will probably end up in disciplinary action. However, refusing to do a task that is part of someone else’s job will not.
As the SNA grade becomes more professionalised, the role will become more defined. In the meantime, if in doubt about a task, consider if doing it would ‘displace’ someone else’s job and if you think it might, contact your local rep.
If you have a query, please contact your local representative in the first instance or if you do not know who your local rep is please contact Susan on 01 817 1524.