Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle calls for end to unequal pay for teachers and school secretaries


Thomas Pringle – 03 Feb 2020


Independent candidate for Donegal Thomas Pringle has called for an end to unequal pay persistent in the education sector for school secretaries and teachers.

Pringle says he is offering his support ahead of two planned strikes taking place this week. School secretaries represented by Forsa are to hold a strike this Friday in Letterkenny and across the country while teachers under TUI will be striking tomorrow (Tuesday 4th February).

Thomas says “I want to show my solidarity to those striking during the last week of the election campaign. Unequal pay for those working in the education sector must end and the Department of Education must be held to account.

“In the case of school secretaries employed by and paid by the Department of Education they have public service employment status and the benefits that come with that including a pension. However, the majority of school secretaries have their pay and conditions determined by school management boards from the grant paid to their schools by the Department and often miss out on fundamental benefits.

“Pay and conditions for school secretaries must be streamlined and grant aid tied with adequate employment conditions. Furthermore, school secretaries are getting as little as €12,000, a poor salary for the essential work they carry out in our schools.

“In the case of teachers in secondary schools the two-tier pay system still persists thanks to Fine Gael. We are a decade on from austerity cuts and still teachers are bearing the brunt of this.

“Fine Gael has failed to address the concerns of teachers calling for equal pay including addressing the remaining differences between the scales for new entrants and payment of the  HDip/PME  allowance  to  those  who  started  teaching since 2012.

“I have included these proposals in my manifesto ‘For Donegal. For the People’ and will be attending the strikes to show my solidarity to workers in the education sector still experiencing pay discrimination” concludes Pringle.