Questioning the Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan Deputy McEntee said that SNAs deserve maximum stability and full-hours contracts.
Helen McEntee TD, who is supporting the Meath Fight for the Future campaign for a nationwide scheme for equal pre-school access for children with special educational needs, said:
“Since Fine Gael was elected to Government in 2011, there has been an 11.7% increase in the number of whole-time SNA posts available in Irish schools. This has been delivered despite the era of budget shortages.
“But these additional posts need to be allocated fairly, so that Special Needs Assistants will have a stable job and a secure employment contract.
“I am aware of SNAs in Co Meath who are not secure in their positions, and whose contracts only offer casual hours. It is not fair that any SNA would be denied a full-hours contract where that is possible.
“The Minister for Education has issued a circular about the employment of SNAs, which can be downloaded from the Department’s website. The Circular outlines that where a school has an additional allocation of SNA hours, then that additional allocation of hours must be offered to an SNA who is working there part-time. This circular gives SNAs greater stability and a better chance of a full-hours contract.
“Workers must be treated fairly.”