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Seanad Éireann - Private Members Business:
Wednesday 13 December 2017

That Seanad Éireann -

- recognises the vital role that Special Needs Assistants play in Ireland's Education system, providing essential support for some of the most vulnerable students in our classrooms;

- acknowledges the overwhelming vote in October 2017 by over 8000 SNAs as members of IMPACT in favour of industrial action;

- regrets the failure of the Minister for Education to implement the recommendations of the Oireachtas Education Committee 'Report on the Role of the Special Needs Assistant' published in January 2016;

- condemns the July publication of SNA allocations in 2017, which caused enormous uncertainty for SNAs;

- demands that the Minister for Education and Skills guarantee that:
(i) in future, SNA allocations will be announced in sufficient time (no later than May) to allow the Supplementary Assignment Panel – and distribution of available hours to serving staff – operate to full effect;
(ii) arrangements will be put in place in respect of job security for SNAs;
(iii) an agreed procedure will be established for dealing with SNA grievances and issues.

[Senators Ivana Bacik, Kevin Humphreys, Ged Nash, Aodhán Ó Riordáin]