The Impact trade union is holding an information night for Donegal’s special needs assistants (SNAs) this Thursday in Letterkenny.
The information night will take place from 7.30 to 9.30pm, Thursday, Nov. 29th, in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny. All SNAs are welcome to attend, and new members are welcome to join on the night prior to the meeting.
Eimear Ryan of Impact said the purpose of the meeting is to discuss employment issues pertinent to SNAs, including issues of redeployment and matters arising from the Croke Park agreement.
Earlier this summer, the Labour Court recommended that SNAs who become redundant should not simply lose their jobs. Instead, the court agreed with Impact’s and Siptu’s argument that they should be placed on a panel for redeployment. The decision followed a six-year campaign by Impact, the union reported.
“We will be disseminating information packs for SNAs on the night, but it will also be their issues -- we will have a very lengthy question and answer session,” Eimear said. “There will be a lot of opportunities to ask questions and get feedback.”
An update on the Department of Education and Skills action plan for SNAs will also be provided.
Earlier this year, Impact received a mandate to start a new education division for non-teaching staff, and this week’s information night in Letterkenny is one of a series Impact is holding in the Ulster-Connaught region.
“What we’re trying to do at the minute is be visible on the ground to our members,” Eimear said. She said earlier meetings in Galway and Mayo drew more than 50 people each and by the end of last week more than 55 people had already registered for this week’s meeting in Letterkenny.
SNAs have “fought very hard for their grade,” Eimear said. “They’re there to care for the needs of the child.”