Government must provide certainty to SNAs
Labour Party Education spokesperson Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called on the government to assure Special Needs Assistants receive timely and proper assurances surrounding job security.
It follows a ballot carried out by Impact trade union that 97% of SNAs have voted to take strike action following delays to SNA allocation.
Senator Ó Ríordáin commented:
“Earlier this year the Minister for Education wrongly delayed announcing the allocation of Special Needs Assistants to schools, leaving SNAs, school management and children and their families in limbo.
“This delay tactic deployed by the Minister means that teachers and parents can’t plan their school year adequately. It also impacts on the life of the SNA, who is kept in the dark as to whether they have a job or not for the following academic year.
“The 2016 Oireachtas Education Committee Report on the Role of the SNA recommended that SNA allocations need to be made earlier in the year. In line with this report, the Minister should seek to ensure that these allocations are made in March or April.
“SNAs should be entitled to decency and certainty in their workplace.
“As a former teacher and principal, I know the value of quality education in helping our special needs children fulfil their potential, we must treat those who educate our children with the respect that they deserve.”