24 November 2015, 12pm
By Elaine Murphy
Ireland’s largest public sector trade union – IMPACT – will host an information meeting tonight at the IMPACT trade union office, Fr. Matthew’s Quay, Cork at 7pm to provide information to school secretaries and caretakers paid from grant funding to schools. A recent arbitration finding has recommended four separate pay rises of 2.5% for these workers between 2016 and 2019.
The arbitration finding by arbitrator Kevin Foley (who has been subsequently appointed Labour Court deputy chairman) has recommended that school secretaries and caretakers, employed directly by boards of management in State-funded schools, would see their minimum hourly rates increase from €10.25 to €13 an hour over the period.
The finding means that these workers, irrespective of their current rate of pay, will benefit from a cumulative pay increase of almost 11% over the next four years. Those earning less than the minimum will benefit by a higher percentage.
The finding comes after a sustained campaign by IMPACT trade union, and follows a commitment to secure a collectively bargained outcome in talks conducted in tandem with the Lansdowne Road discussions in May this year.
Caretakers and secretaries pay rates vary, as they are determined by the individual board of management of each school, and paid from the ancillary grants paid to the schools by the Department of Education and Skills. Almost all are paid below the scale paid to equivalent public service workers, including a minority of secretaries and caretakers who are paid directly by the department.
The union has commenced a series of information meetings for secretaries and caretakers. The purpose of the meetings is to inform members of the details of the arbitration findings and to outline the union’s pay strategy over the 2016-2018 period. The meetings are open to all school secretaries and caretakers.
The meetings continue this week as follows:
- Cork – IMPACT office, Fr. Mathew’s Quay, Tuesday 24th November at at 7pm
- Athlone – Athlone Education Centre, Moydrum Road, Athlone, Thursday 26th November at 7pm
- Galway – IMPACT office, Unit 23/24 Sean Mulvoy Business Park, Sean Mulvoy Road, Thursday 26th November at 5pm
- Kildare – Kildare Education Centre, Friary Road, Kildare Town, Monday 30th November at 7.30pm
- Dundalk – Crowne Plaza Hotel, Tuesday 1st December at 7pm