In times past, the focus for this objective was very simple - improving pay and conditions in the workplace. But, more recently, the Union and its members have recognised that living standards are decided by much more than pay and conditions alone. Our overall quality of life can also be affected by factors like taxation levels and the quality of the "social wage" (involving health, education, social welfare provision, housing and the environment) as well as issues relating to dignity at work and job security.
SIPTU works on these and other issues on many fronts at both local and national level - with the same underlying objective of advancing the best interests of its members.Pay
If you are in a low paid employment, SIPTU will ensure that you are at least in receipt of the National Minimum Wage and keep track of your employer's profits so that claims for higher pay can be pursued at the right time.
There are several ways in which your basic pay can be improved - ranging from a simple service pay scheme, which rewards you for long service, to a more sophisticated form of reward like a profit-share scheme where you literally share in the profits of the company. Who gets the promotional positions in your company? If you need to gain additional skills to apply for promotional positions, will your employer cover the cost?Promotion
As an employee, you are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity at work - by your employer, and by your fellow workers. SIPTU can negotiate arrangements to combat bullying and harassment, which will protect your right not to be discriminated against on grounds of gender, sexual orientation or age.
Shift premium is normally paid to workers whose hours of work are considered unsociable. SIPTU has a track record second to none in securing the best deals for unsocial hours allowances and shift premiums where workers have to work around the clock to meet production needs. Payments start at 20% and can go as high as 33.3% for continuous round-the-clock shift systems.Pension Schemes
Equally, where existing pensions or sick pay schemes are out of line with those in other similar companies, then workers can seek improvements. As the largest trade union in the country, SIPTU is well placed to make direct comparisons with other unionised firms with good pension and sick pay provisions.
The new Pensions Act requires employers to deduct contributions to a Personal Retirement Savings Account, if the employee wishes.Atypical Work
SIPTU representatives aim to ensure that all employers comply with all of the provisions of the law and that no-one suffers discrimination for being an atypical worker.
Often full-time workers may wish to move to fewer hours or more flexible work patterns - especially to meet family commitments. Employers have signed up to the Family-Friendly Workplace Policy initiative and SIPTU will negotiate the introduction of such an initiative on your behalf if you wish.Health and Safety
SIPTU is very effective at ensuring that the law is adhered to and will ensure that your health and safety receives top priority at work. SIPTU has a specialised Safety and Health Unit as well as an Industrial Engineering Department to advise on all health and safety issues.Loss of Employment
No matter what how much an employer may like to say otherwise, every worker is legally entitled to join a trade union. Until recently there was no obligation on an employer to negotiate with a union. But now the Labour Court can issue binding recommendations on pay and conditions in any employment where the employer refuses to recognise the union.Professional Representation
SIPTU members are represented by highly skilled negotiators, experienced in all aspects of working life. The Union's front-line officials are backed up by professional services provided by industrial engineers, health and safety experts, researchers, tutors and publications and public relations specialists.Additional Benefits
The Union also provides a range of scholarships each year for members and their children. Scholarships are available for both third- and second-level institutions. SIPTU also offers a number of Gaeltacht scholarships nationally each year while many Union Branches also organise their own Gaeltacht scholarships in conjunction with local employers.