Negotiations on a new SNA national contract
by Andy Pike, Fórsa head of Education & Niall Shanahan

Fórsa representatives met with Department of Education officials this afternoon to commence negotiations on the national SNA contract, the use of the ‘72-hour’ obligation, June working and the SNA redundancy scheme.


The commitment to conduct this review is contained in the national pay agreement Building Momentum.


Talks will now take place on the key issues such as the need to improve job security, the need to stop any misuse of the 72-hour’ obligation and the obligation, in post-primary schools, to be available for work in June.


Fórsa will also be seeking confirmation that the minimum essential qualification will be changed, and that the national SNA training programme will be accredited, as recommended by the UCD School of Education.


We welcome the fact that these negotiations have now commenced. These talks provide an opportunity to end the abuses of the ‘72-hour’ obligation.


We’ll be pressing hard for proper recognition of the professional role of SNAs through the promised review of the minimum essential qualification, as well as seeking a robust redeployment scheme to replace the current redundancy scheme.


These talks will not be easy or quick.


We will shortly be outlining the rationale for the changes we are seeking to the Department of Education. We expect the department to set out its formal position at the end of January (2023).


This process will be led by my colleague Shane Lambert, our assistant general secretary for the schools sector, who will be issuing regular updates to members on key developments.


SNAs have waited a long, long time for these important issues to be discussed. We will all be working as hard as we can to bring these talks to a successful conclusion.


More updates will be issued to members as these talks progress.


There’s never been a better time to join a union, and it’s never been easier. Join Fórsa today.

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