Thousands of education staff, including clerical officers, special needs assistants, school secretaries, and early education professionals, start work on pre-tax salaries ranging between minimum wage and €440 a week, with many laid off without pay each summer. Speaking at the union’s education conference in Cork last month, IMPACT deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan said this was the “real scandal of low pay and two-tier reward systems in our education system.”
Talks on an extension to the Lansdowne Road agreement (LRA) are set to commence this month. They will get underway soon after public expenditure minister Paschal Donohoe presents a report from the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) to the cabinet. This is expected to happen this week or next.
Inadequate Government plans to help parents with childcare costs will perpetuate underinvestment in early years’ care and education, while doing nothing to promote quality through the professionalisation of the sector, according to IMPACT.
Staffless libraries and management plans to open local authority promotions to external competition will be high on the agenda at IMPACT’s Local Government division conference, which takes place in Letterkenny next week. The conference will also hear a report on the barriers to women’s career progression in local councils that fail to implement family-friendly policies.
IMPACT has reached agreement on procedures for HSE promotion competitions and panels, which includes a provision for staff on temporary contacts, in a deal agreed at the Workplace Relations Commission. The outcome will see two panels made up of successful applicants, from which promotions to each of the four grades will be filled for a two-year period.
Gina O’Brien, chairperson of the IMPACT education division
The forthcoming public service pay talks must go beyond simply unwinding the ‘FEMPI’ legislation, to ensure that lower paid staff benefit, according to IMPACT. Speaking at the union’s education conference in Cork last month, deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan said staff earning less than €28,750 a year would not benefit from further unwinding of FEMPI as the legislation now only affected incomes above that level.