School secretaries from all over the northwest staged a rally at the office of Education Minister Joe McHugh TD in Letterkenny on today (Sat).
The rally took place as union FÛrsa prepare to reveal the result of a nationwide ballot for industrial action in its campaign for fair pay and working conditions for school secretaries.
The ballot outcome will be announced on Monday, September 9th.
The union balloted its members over the summer after education department officials refused to discuss proposals to overcome a two-tier pay system that leaves most earning just Ä12,500 a year, with irregular, short-term contracts that force them to sign on during the summer holidays and other school breaks.
FÛrsa has mounted a campaign for pay justice for school secretaries, most of whom are very poorly paid and have irregular, short-term contracts.
This, according to FÛrsa, is because of antiquated and discriminatory employment status, foisted upon school secretaries in 1978, which gives a minority directly-employed public service status, while the majority are employed by school management boards, which determine their pay and conditions.
A number of speakers addressed the protest including FÛrsa President Ann Mc Gee. Minister Mc Hugh’s office was closed and the Minister, who was understood to be at another event in Letterkenny, didn’t meet with the protestors.