SNAs (L to R) Christine Scott, Bridie Shortall, Clare Keaveney and Patricia Fanning pictured at Fórsa’s national conference at the INEC in Killarney.
Download: SNA Allocation FAQs
Fórsa trade union has welcomed the publication today (Friday) of the SNA allocations for the 2018/19 school year.
The union, which represents 8,500 special needs assistants (SNAs) nationwide said it welcomed both the allocation of 940 additional SNA posts and the timely publication of the allocations.
Above all we’re very pleased that SNAs now have certainty about the next academic year. I think it’s important to acknowledge that the minister stuck to his word on the timing of the allocations, and I trust this marks a new approach for the future.
Deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan said “Above all we’re very pleased that SNAs now have certainty about the next academic year. I think it’s important to acknowledge that the minister stuck to his word on the timing of the allocations, and I trust this marks a new approach for the future.”
These developments follow a 2018 ballot for industrial action by Fórsa SNA members. The ballot followed four successive years where SNA allocations were published very late. In 2017 the allocations weren’t published until July, which meant that hundreds of SNAs finished the school year without knowing if they would have a job the following September.
Today’s allocation announcement represents a significant victory for SNAs and demonstrates the power of collective action.
Assistant general secretary Seán Carabini said SNA employment is more precarious than many other public sector professions due to the fact that SNA allocations are reviewed on an annual basis.
“When a school’s SNA allocation is reduced, SNAs lose their jobs. However, an SNA that loses their job can opt to be placed on the supplementary assignment panel and apply for other SNA posts that arise in their area,” he said.
Mr Carabini added “Today’s allocation announcement represents a significant victory for SNAs and demonstrates the power of collective action. It also sends a very clear signal that SNAs will not tolerate being treated in any manner that fails to give the profession its due respect.
“SNAs will continue to come together under the Fórsa banner to ensure that, in future years, the allocations process is both respectful and timely.
“We will also remain vigilant in advocating for the non-fragmentation of allocated posts. While additional posts are always welcome, the state must ensure that additional posts are, where possible, full-time posts to ensure that workers can earn a proper and decent full-time wage,” he said.
Download: SNA Allocation FAQs (prepared by assistant general secretary Seán Carabini)