The trade union representing school secretaries has written to the Department of Education asking it to agree to use the services of the Workplace Relations Commission in an effort to resolve the current school secretaries' dispute.

School secretaries have been engaged in limited industrial action for the past week.

Fórsa says their work-to-rule will continue until their dispute, over pay and conditions, is resolved or until meaningful talks begin. 

The action means school secretaries are no longer working on public service systems and databases.

In a letter sent to the department, Fórsa says that it will need to consider escalating the industrial action and extending it to a further 150 schools where secretaries have joined the union over the past few weeks.

The union says it sees no reason why the Department should refuse to participate in WRC conciliation, which it describes as "normal practice". 

The vast majority of school secretaries are on precarious contracts with no sick pay or pension entitlements.

They want to be employed directly by the Department of Education, with  better contracts and conditions.