Press Release

SIPTU calls on Taoiseach to intervene in Local Employment Services dispute

Date Released: 03 December 2021

SIPTU representatives have called on the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, to directly intervene in a dispute concerning Local Employment Services (LES) following the publication of a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which found that their privatisation does not deliver “value for money”.

SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “The PAC report, which was published yesterday (Thursday, 2nd December), has analysed a previous attempt to provide employment services through a private for-profit company, JobPath. It has found that it ‘has not delivered value for money for the taxpayer’ and that the Department of Social Protection should explore ‘other avenues’ to provide better value through ‘localised, non-profit-driven employment services’.

“The publication of this report is a very significant development in the ongoing union campaign to stop the privatisation of LES and Job Clubs across the country. 

“The PAC report follows the recommendations of the Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, last month, that LES should be retained in its current format. Earlier this week, the Dáil also passed a motion proposed by Sinn Féin TD, Claire Kerrane, to halt the current public tendering process in respect of LES. 

“However, despite all the evidence and contrary to the democratic mandate of the Dáil, the Department of Social Protection is continuing to pursue a tendering process which will see the LES and Job Clubs transferred from successful community based organisations to private for profit companies.”

He added: “Our members employed in the LES and the people who use its services will ultimately pay the price for this approach. Our members are commencing industrial action in LES in county Laois and county Offaly next week. We are now calling upon the Taoiseach to personally intervene in order to resolve this dispute as the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, is clearly not listening to the calls of public representatives or the people.”


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