After three weeks the national strike by school staff has been suspended but the ZNP teachers' union is determined to maintain its campaign for more funding for education and better pay for teachers and other school workers. The union says that the first stage of the strike was a success in putting education at the centre of the national debate and highlighting the low levels of pay across the sector. While the union has secured a 10% pay increase it remains committed to higher pay as well as aiming for major reforms of the education system and getting a commitment to increased funding.
School strike suspended
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Public services union Fórsa has suspended industrial action by school secretaries planned to begin on 23 October. This was to be part of a long-running campaign to end a two-tier pay system that leaves most school secretaries earning just €12,500 a year, with irregular, short-term contracts that force them to sign on to receive benefits during the summer holidays and other school breaks. Following a commitment from the government the union has agreed to talks at the Workplace Relations Commission which will begin on 27 October.
Following the strike action by school secretaries on 10 January and subsequent industrial action (work-to-rule), Forsa their trade union has agreed to return to talks with the government that are being held by the Workplace Relations Committee conciliation service. The strike action is over the poor pay and conditions suffered by around 2000 school secretaries employed on precarious contracts by local schools (see last issue of EPSU Collective Bargaining News). Forsa is looking for real and significant progress in the talks otherwise the industrial action will re-start.
(January 2017) School support staff in Derbyshire in central England have been involved in two further weeks of strike action in protest at the local authority's decision to cut their pay by up to 25%. The workers, members of the UNISON trade union, took action at the end of last year in a dispute that began over seven months ago (see epsucob@NEWS 14 and 15 October and November 2016).