Welcome to the SIPTU Web Page for Special Needs Assistants

This page contains the following information for Special Needs Assistants:

Section One: Important Updates.

Section Two: List of issues currently under negotiation at national level with the Department of Education and Skills.

Section Three: Useful links to Department Circulars regarding SNAs.

We hope to expand this webpage to include a section on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Section One

a) Update on issues relating to the implementation of the 72 Hours Agreement.
A meeting involving SIPTU, IMPACT and the Department of Education took place at the Labour Relations Commission in Dublin regarding the 72 hour agreement. Both Unions raised concerns about unacceptable approaches by some Principals/Boards of Management to the use of these hours. As previously stated, 72 hours is a limit not a target and therefore staff should not be pressured into doing 72 hours a year “at all costs”. This situation has led to many difficulties, in particular the assignment of work that is clearly not appropriate to SNAs. This matter was raised by both Unions.As an outcome it was agreed that both sides (Unions and DES) would prepare a submission on the 72 hours agreement and present this to the other side no later than the first week of March 2014. At that point a further meeting at the Labour Relations Commission will take place.

b) Update as of May 2014, Agreement reached on a Job Sharing Scheme for Special Needs Assistants.
Agreement has been reached with the Dept of Education and Skills on a Job Sharing Scheme for SNA’s. The new scheme is to be introduced immediately and SNA’s may apply now for job sharing for the next school year 2014-2015. The Dept insisted on job sharing SNA’s working a 16 hour week despite the best efforts of SIPTU and IMPACT to have job sharers work a straightforward 50% of their original full time hours. Both Unions insisted on a cover letter agreed by all parties to record the fact that the job sharing scheme must not be used as a basis for increasing the weekly hours of full-time SNA’s to 32 hrs/week. We remind all members that the weekly working hours of a full-time SNA are the teaching hours of the school (“bell to bell”), typically 28 to 29 hours/week, plus some additional minutes before and after to assist in the arrival/dispatch of SN students. The Dept Circular covering the Job Sharing Scheme will issue next week and should be made available to all SNA’s at their respective schools.”

c) Update as of 2014 on SNA Panel System.
“A number of issues relating to the Panel System for SNA’s who lose employment due to Redundancy were referred to the Education Oversight body of the Haddington Road Agreement. These are mainly as follows;

  1. A Manager was to be put in place nationally to oversee the implementation of the new Panel System for SNA’s. This did not happen and represents a major problem for SNA’s as the absence of a National Manager leaves the Panel System in the hands of each school management with no transparency or national coordination.

  2. The Dept of Education stated that no list of SNA’s on the Panel will “be made or kept by the Department”. Once again this undermines the Panel System and the need for transparency. The Dept of Education stated that following 12 months on the panel SNA’s will then be made redundant. This contradicts the National Agreement on the Panel System which simply says that after 12 months on the panel an SNA may opt for redundancy and receive the redundancy payment.

  3. The Dept of Education states that an interview will take place to determine who gets the next SNA vacancy. This is at odds with the National Agreement which states “Where a vacancy arises or where a new post is created it will first be offered to those on the panel in order of seniority subject to suitability”. Such suitability does not necessarily require an “interview process” There are a number of other issues in relation to the Dept of Education approach to the Panel System and we intend to raise these also.Meetings with the Department of Education are ongoing.

  4. Administration of Medication and involvement in Medical Procedures. “As several members of SIPTU have been in contact with the Union on these issues we will shortly be issuing advice to all SNA members on how best to approach these situations. Please note that this is a critical area and appropriate training by a qualified medical professional should be in place. Involvement in certain medical procedures will require certified training and continuous assessment and supervision.”



Section Two

We are anxious to keep our SNA members up to date on the national issues which affect them.

SIPTU is in constant discussions with the Department of Education and Skills on a range of matters which concern you. We are currently representing members on the following issues;

1) Unacceptable approach by some schools towards the National Agreement on Flexible use of the 12 days (72 hours).

2) Job-sharing policy for SNAs.

3) Implementation of the Labour Court Recommendation won by the Union regarding the setting up of a panel system for SNAs who lose their employment.

4) Involvement of SNA’s in administration of Medication or in Medical Procedures.

 


Section Three

Link to the Department of Education website: www.education.ie

Download the circular on Croke Park

Sick Leave

Download the circular on Career Break Scheme

Download the circular on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure

Download the circular on Pay Scales for SNAs

Download the circular on Brief Absences for SNAs

Download the circular on Pension Scheme for SNAs

Download the circular on Seniority of SNAs

Download the circular on Redundancy Arrangements for SNAs

Download the circular on Contracts for SNAs in National Schools

Download the circular on Pension Scheme for SNAs


 


Section Three

Link to the Department of Education website: www.education.ie

Download the circular on Croke Park

Sick Leave

Download the circular on Career Break Scheme

Download the circular on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure

Download the circular on Pay Scales for SNAs

Download the circular on Brief Absences for SNAs

Download the circular on Pension Scheme for SNAs

Download the circular on Seniority of SNAs

Download the circular on Redundancy Arrangements for SNAs

Download the circular on Contracts for SNAs in National Schools

Download the circular on Pension Scheme for SNAs



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