Support Our Secretaries

Support Our Secretaries

19,301 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!
Petition to
The Minister for Education and Skills

Why this petition matters

Started by Joe O'Connor

Demand that the Minister for Education and Skills respect and value all School Secretaries, by ensuring that every School Secretary receives fair pay and conditions.


School Secretaries are central to the life of every school, every teacher and every student. They are the dedicated, caring heart of every school and the first and most important contact for parents and staff alike.

Yet the vast majority of Ireland’s School Secretaries work for poor pay, and some are denied the respect of the most basic of employment rights such as secure contracts, pension rights, or even sick pay.

This unjust, impractical and unsustainable system must end right now.

That is why, Fórsa, Ireland’s largest and most influential public service union, is calling on the Department of Education and Skills to ensure that all School Secretaries are fully respected and valued, and immediately provided with the same entitlements and protections as their public service colleagues.

Please support this vital campaign by signing this petition today.

For more information go to

Right now, Fórsa estimates that around 10% of the country’s approximately 3,500 School Secretaries are paid directly by the Department of Education and Skills on salaries varying between €24,000 to €44,711 per annum. The other 90% are paid through their school’s ancillary grant – leaving some with salaries as low as €12,000 per annum.

In some cases, there are schools with two secretaries, doing the same work with the same dedication, where one is paid €44,711 per year while the other receives just €12,702 with no entitlement to benefits such as sick pay or pension rights. Indeed, there are countless examples of School Secretaries who have served their community for 20 or 30 years but who will retire into poverty without any occupational pension at all.

Fórsa has initiated the Support Our Secretaries campaign to call on the Department of Education and Skills to ensure that all School Secretaries are provided with the same entitlements and protections equivalent with Grade 3 or Grade 4 of the Department’s pay scale.

This ground-breaking campaign already has the support of Fórsa's 80,000 members as well as the backing and endorsement of every teachers’ union in the country.

However, the support that really matters is yours.

Please sign this important petition today.

Your Sincerely,

Joe O’Connor
Lead Organiser
Fórsa Trade Union

“The ASTI is fully behind Forsa in its “Support our Secretaries” campaign, seeking fair pay and conditions of work for these employees in our schools. We believe school secretaries, who play a very significant role, dealing directly with teachers, parents and students, deserve the dignity and respect afforded by proper contracts and fair remuneration.”– Breda Lynch, President Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland
 “The TUI has a long standing position that the provision of education in the state is a core element of the social contract and a vital public service. In this regard, it is also our position that the staff supporting the provision of this public service should be considered to be, and should receive all of the benefits and entitlements of, equivalent public servants. The TUI fully supports Fórsa in their campaign to secure this recognition, and the inherent security, for their members.” – Séamus Lahart, President, Teachers’ Union of Ireland
 “As a principal, I deeply appreciate the role school secretaries play in supporting the work of the principal and the school. As an INTO member, I support the fair and equal pay and conditions for school secretaries and wish the Fórsa campaign well.”– Michelle Keane, Cathaoirleach of INTO Principals’ and Deputy Principals’ Committee
“The INTO Principals’ and Deputy Principals’ Committee acknowledge the tremendous contribution that school secretaries make to the life of primary schools, and in particular the critical role they play in supporting school leaders. INTO is fully in support of Fórsa’s Support Our Secretaries campaign and offer our assistance in achieving your aims. We will advise our members, and in particular our principal teacher members of this.” – Sheila Nunan, General Secretary, Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
“The Irish Congress of Trade Unions fully supports this campaign which we believe is strongly related to the principles outlined in the Congress ‘Charter for fair Conditions at Work’. School Secretaries, together with all other workers, are entitled to have certainty regarding their pay, terms and conditions of employment, and Government should take all necessary measures to end the precarious nature of their employment.” – Patricia King, General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

19,301 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!