IMPACT rejects CPSMA criticism – Greater job security for Special Needs Assistants will ensure high quality service

Tuesday March 19th 2013

IMPACT deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan has rejected criticism of the creation of a redeployment panel for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) made in a letter today (Tuesday) by the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA).

Mr Callinan said a redeployment panel for SNAs will ensure that valuable years of SNA experience are not lost from the education system and will help ensure a high quality service to children with special education needs.

New Labour Court proposals on the extension of the Croke Park agreement include a scheme for the development of an SNA redeployment panel, on the basis of a Labour Court recommendation of June 2012.

Mr Callinan was speaking in response to the letter by the CPSMA to the country’s 3,200 school boards, which criticises the creation of an SNA redeployment panel.

Mr Callinan added, “Special needs assistants will gain greater job security through the establishment of a redeployment panel, and that’s a welcome development that’s been hard earned by thousands of SNAs across the country, who’ve been extremely vulnerable in the past. SNAs are currently being balloted on the new proposals, and the CPSMA’s attack on these new LRC measures is misleading as to how valuable a redeployment panel will be to the SNA service.

“Up to now, SNAs have faced huge uncertainty about their future if the child they provide a service to leaves their school. It had the effect of making SNAs in this situation compulsorily redundant. Their valuable experience was all too easily lost.

“If the new Croke Park proposals are approved, SNAs will achieve a much improved level of job security. In addition, the service provided to children with special education needs will be greatly enhanced by keeping as much experience within the system as possible” he said.