Members of IMPACT’s School Secretaries branch were featured in a recent special report on RTÉ radio’s Drivetime programme, which highlighted the issue of precarious work. The segment followed a number of case studies on precarious work. Previously, the programme had covered the issue in the construction, finance and hospitality sectors.
The broadcast features Eileen Barry of IMPACT’s School Secretaries branch. Eileen outlined the uncertainty and inequity around school secretaries pay and terms of employment. “Because individual boards of management determine the pay and conditions of the school secretary we actually have a chaotic, multi-tiered, system running all over the country, where no national standard exists,” she said.
Earlier this year the union had to take individual schools to task because they had withheld the 2.5% pay increase due to school secretaries since the beginning of 2017. This was despite the Department of Education and Skills making the funding available for the increase.
The RTÉ broadcast followed the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ call for the Government to act with urgency to address the problem of precarious work, following the release of a new Congress study that shows precarious and insecure work is now ‘pervasive’ across the economy and has risen significantly since 2008. The study – Insecure & Uncertain; Precarious Work in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – reveals an alarming growth in precarious work practices across the island of Ireland, since 2008.
Congress General Secretary Patricia King said the report confirmed that there was now “an urgent necessity for government to address this problem decisively through legislation.”
Listen back to the Drivetime broadcast here.