Long-running pay dispute near to resolution


A national one-day strike planned for 15 September by public services union Fórsa involving school secretaries and caretakers was deferred following significant concessions by the education department. The department finally conceded that all school secretaries should be placed on the public service clerical officer scale, bringing to an end a four-decade old two-tier pay system. The improvements, due to come into effect from 1 September 2021, will also see equalisation of annual leave arrangements on the basis of public service clerical officer provisions. The union said it expected the new employment conditions to be included in a model national contract for secretaries. One or two matters remain to be negotiated but Fórsa sees this as a major victory for school secretaries. The strike action is on hold for two weeks, pending confirmation of the implementation of the package.

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