School secretaries and administrators


Sir, – I worked in a Deis school for almost 40 years as a class teacher, resource and learning support teacher, and in senior management towards the end of my working life.

The only employee in my school who is indispensable is our school secretary and administrator. She is on first-name terms with all the pupils and their family members. She can answer many queries every day while working on her computer, monitoring the front door and answering the telephone. We would all be buried in paperwork and Department of Education administration if it wasn’t for her. She often works through her lunch break, so we slip some chocolate into her desk drawer so she doesn’t keel over, which is just as well since she would get no sick pay and the place would fall apart without her.

My question for all our TDs and Ministers is this – would the friends and family members you employ to run your constituency offices do the job for €12,000 a year, with no pension or sick-leave entitlements? And I’m sure very few of them are as competent as our secretary. The scandal of the new Dáil photocopier would never have happened on her watch. – Yours, etc,