Fórsa trade union’s 12,000 SNAs concluded their ballot today (Friday) on new pay measures negotiated under provisions contained in the Building Momentum public service pay agreement.
Just over 54% have backed a proposal to add an additional pay point - €1,100 higher than the current maximum - at the top of the SNA pay scale, as an alternative to accepting a one per cent increase due in February under Building Momentum.
The ballot turnout was 62%, and SNA members have voted to extend the maximum earnings for SNAs from €41,090 to a new maximum of €42,190.
SNA pay will now increase above and beyond the maximum of the clerical officer scale for the first time. This demonstrates that it’s possible to adjust and increase the pay of SNAs in our schools, and this is a permanent and pensionable increase.
Negotiating an option to increase pay at the top of the SNA scale was the right thing to do. It was also correct to ensure members had the final say in a ballot. Our members had the choice of accepting a higher maximum salary or taking the one per cent general pay increase. Backing the proposal to raise salaries at the top of the scale will raise maximum earnings and improve pension benefits.
The ballot result nevertheless illustrates the reality of the low salaries offered to SNAs, especially at the lower end of the pay scale, and particularly at a time of sustained and rising inflation. It’s clear that more should be done to improve starting pay for SNAs.
The outcome of this ballot should be seen as both an endorsement of the long-held view that our SNAs have been undervalued and underpaid, as well as a clear signal to Government that public servants are worried about rising prices and the increase in their cost of living. This has to be reflected in the next public service pay agreement which will be negotiated over the coming months.
I want to thank you for your engagement with, and participation in, this ballot. The result will have a lasting positive impact on SNA pay and pensions, and it could not have been achieved without the combined strength of all our SNA members and representatives.
Head of Education
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