Fórsa trade union, which represents 8,000 special needs assistants (SNAs) nationwide, has welcomed the addition of up to 950 extra SNA posts announced today (Tuesday 9th October) as part of Budget 2019.
Fórsa official Seán Carabini said “While Fórsa welcomes the announcement as further validation of the pivotal role of the SNA profession in the Irish education system, we call on the Department of Education and Skills to ensure that fragmentation of these SNA posts is kept to a minimum.
“As much as possible these posts need to be full time, which will help ensure maximum benefit for the children and school communities they serve.
As much as possible these posts need to be full time, which will help ensure maximum benefit for the children and school communities they serve.
“The number of additional SNAs employed in a full time capacity has declined from 51% of those hired between 2012 and 2013 to 38% of those hired between 2014 and 2015,” he said. (Source: Special Education Review Committee report analysing data in the SNA sector, 2016)
Mr Carabini said the union had recently held discussions with the Department of Education & Skills over job fragmentation issues.
“While many of the job fragmentation cases raised remain unresolved, it is hoped that the 2019 SNA allocation announced today will ensure that, where possible, SNAs be offered full-time positions,” he said.