Parliamentary Question for the Minister for Education and Skills (Ruairi Quinn TD)
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason special needs assistants working in secondary schools are being asked to work during the month of June; the tasks they will be required to carry out during June; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I wish to set out the clear position of the Department and the employers regarding June working for Special Needs Assistants employed in the post-primary sector. The contract for Special Needs Assistants in the post primary sector (see following link) specifically requires that SNAs are required to work the month of June on examinations and work appropriate to the grade including training. This was agreed with the Unions representing SNAs (IMPACT and SIPTU) when the contract was devised in 2005. This condition of service places a clear onus and obligation on the SNA to attend at their place of work and be available for work during the month of June.
It is a matter for school management as their employer to determine the precise work that is to be completed by SNAs during the month of June. The utilisation of this period is not specifically for examinations or training purposes only, although these are two of the purposes for which the period of work can be utilised. Link to the SNA Contract of Employment for the Post Primary sector: Department of Education and Skills Circular SNA 12/05 (Post-Primary) . This contract of employment is augmented by all of the relevant Departmental Circulars governing Special Needs Assistants which detail the standardised terms and conditions of employment for SNAs. These Circulars are amended and new Circulars are issued by the Minister for Education and Skills from time to time.