Press Releases

Unions confirm escalation of industrial dispute at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council after mediated talks collapse due to management intransigence

Members of all four staff trade unions, Unite, GMB, NIPSA and SIPTU, will commence work-to-rule from January 4th, second 24-hour strike date confirmed for January 27th.

Councillors warned that work-to-rule will result in severe disruption to council services as authority is hugely dependent on overtime and informal working practices.

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Public service unions and employers agree proposals for a two-year agreement

Representatives of public service unions and employers have agreed proposals for a two-year agreement to succeed the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA), which expires at the end of this month. The main elements of the proposed agreement were outlined by union negotiators at a meeting of the ICTU Public Services Committee (PSC) today (Friday) after negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) concluded in the early hours of this morning.

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Unions make significant breakthrough on pay justice claim for Section 39 workers

SIPTU representatives have today (Thursday, 10th December) confirmed that unions have made a significant breakthrough on pay restoration for members in 250 State-funded voluntary health and social service providers. The positive development for workers in these Section 39 employments follows a conciliation conference held under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

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STOP67 campaign disappointed at composition of Pension Commission

The STOP67 coalition has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the Government to appoint enough members to the Pension Commission who reflect the interests of those most affected by the proposed pension age increase and in particular organisations representing women and older people. The Coalition, which includes the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), SIPTU, Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland, mounted an effective campaign during the general election campaign against the proposed pension age increase to 67 from next January.

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SIPTU members to discuss future of public water service

SIPTU representatives who provide vital public water services will today discuss the future status of Irish Water today following confirmation from the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, that he is seeking an agreed outcome with trade unions on the establishment of a single public utility.

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SIPTU warns employers over SEO rates of pay and protections for construction workers

SIPTU Construction Sector Organiser, John Regan, has called on the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) to confirm that the next pay increase of 2.7% due to construction workers on the 1st October will be paid and that all the terms of the Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for the industry will be honoured in full. His call follows the decision of the High Court on Tuesday, 23rd June to strike down the SEO.

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SIPTU says Programme for Government contains positive proposals but falls short on key issues

SIPTU General Secretary, Joe Cunningham, has said that the proposed Programme for Government published today by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party contains initiatives which can improve the lives of working people and their families but falls short in relation to policies on key issues including housing, childcare and collective bargaining rights.

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SIPTU calls on CIF to ensure members availing of state subsidy scheme are paying workers full rates

SIPTU has today called on the Construction Industry Federation to ensure its members are fully compliant with the Sectoral Employment Order (SEO), and Collective Agreements. The union is warning employers that they cannot avoid full compliance during the pandemic crisis. John Regan, SIPTU Sector Organiser for the Construction Sector said that, “There is emerging evidence that some employers who are using the temporary wage subsidy scheme are not topping up payments to meet the legally binding gross rate of pay for construction workers

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SIPTU welcomes the commitment from Minister Harris to address Union members concerns over the availability of infection rate data

This morning, (Tuesday, 2nd June) SIPTU representatives held a highly productive meeting with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, at which union officials outlined the serious concerns members have over the need for full and transparent data to be made available concerning the 7,900 health workers who have contracted the Covid-19 virus.

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Irish Equity endorses the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) National Arts Recovery Plan

Irish Equity today wholeheartedly endorsed the recovery programme which has been launched by the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) to ensure that the long term damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to the sector is minimised. Karan O’Loughlin, Irish Equity Organiser, said that it wished to acknowledge “the widespread consultation and painstaking research undertaken by the many NCFA volunteers in drafting this National Arts Recovery Plan.

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Worker representatives needed on Tourism Task Force to ensure a safe reopening of the sector

SIPTU Hospitality Sector Organiser Martin O’Rourke has criticised the decision of the Government not to include worker representatives on the recently established Task Force charged with providing a safe, quality environment in which the hospitality industry can reopen safely during the current Covid-19 pandemic. He said that a survey of members showed widespread concern at the risks they face, as well as continuing problems over sexual harassment and bullying that urgently need to be addressed.

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SIPTU and MRCI complain to HSA over its failure to inspect meat plants

SIPTU representatives and the Migrants Rights Council of Ireland (MRCI) have written to the chief executive of the Health And Safety Authority (HSA) to complain about its failure to carry out inspections in meat plants across the country where there have been more than 850 cases of Coronavirus. The union and the MRCI were responding to remarks made to the Oireachtas committee on Covid-19 yesterday by the chief executive of the HSA, Dr Sharon McGuinness.

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Speech by Ethel Buckley, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary at the James Connolly Commemoration, Arbour Hill Dublin on Sunday 17th May, 2020

On this day we remember the most significant revolutionary in the history of the Irish trade union, socialist and republican movements. James Connolly was also a leading progressive voice in the global struggle for worker’s rights in the first decades of the last century and up to his death at the age of 47 on May 12th 1916.

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SIPTU members seek mandatory face covering for public transport

SIPTU transport representatives have called for the mandatory introduction of face masks for passengers using public bus, rail and tram services. They said that its members are disappointed at the announcement today (Friday, 15th May) by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, that the Government is to issue an ‘advisory notice’ to the public to wear face coverings.

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SIPTU condemns treatment of Debenhams workers in Ireland

SIPTU representatives have condemned the manner in which Debenhams Retail Ireland Limited has treated its employees and have committed to challenging the manner in which a collective redundancy notice was served by the company. At the request of the company, the High Court appointed provisional joint liquidators over Debenhams on Thursday 15th April. SIPTU and Mandate representatives held a remote meeting with the joint liquidators and management on Friday 16th April to discuss the situation.

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TUF calls for laid off construction workers to receive industry rates during work suspension

The Trade Union Federation (TUF) has called on companies to ensure laid off construction workers are paid no less than the minimum rates for the industry for the duration of the suspension of their work. The TUF which comprises SIPTU, BATU and Connect trade unions has also called for strict adherence by employers to the instruction by the government to close all non-essential building sites.

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SIPTU calls for reduced passenger numbers on public transport to protect users from COVID-19

SIPTU Transport Sector Organiser, John Murphy, has called for an immediate reduction of passenger numbers on public transport services in order to protect passengers and staff from the COVID-19 virus. He also called on the National Transport Authority (NTA) to reverse its decision to reduce public transport services from 1st April in order to prevent overcrowding and a breach of social distancing requirements.

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SIPTU General Secretary calls for wage subsidy scheme, increased welfare payments and a national emergency programme to deal with COVID-19 emergency

SIPTU General Secretary, Joe Cunningham, has called on the Government to introduce an extensive wage subsidy scheme to keep employees in work during the COVID-19 emergency. In a letter to An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, today, Joe Cunningham also called for an immediate increase in Jobseekers’ Benefit and other payments such as the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, to €305 per week.

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SIPTU commends work of members during Storm Jorge

SIPTU has today (Monday, 2nd March) commended its public service members working in local authorities, fire, health, ambulance and emergency services and the Office of Public Works (OPW) for protecting families and communities and for keeping public services going throughout storm Jorge over the weekend.

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Larkin commemoration told new Government must tackle crises faced by ordinary people

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, told the annual Jim Larkin commemoration in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin, today (Friday, 31st January) that “the ignorance and indifference” the current Government has shown to the concerns of ordinary people “is breath taking, even given the privileged cocoons within which several of its leading figures appear to have spent their lives.”

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SIPTU members in FAI welcome the success of their campaign to secure extra funding

SIPTU members employed by the FAI have welcomed the announcement today (Thursday, 30th January) of an agreement by stakeholders in the organisation to increase funding to a degree which safeguards jobs and the development of community level football. Sport Ireland announced earlier today that it will reinstate its funding, which will double from €2.9 million to €5.8 million a year until 2023. The Government also said it will provide an annual €2.5 million interest free loan.

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SIPTU rejects Fine Gael claim on cost of demand to stop the increase in pension age

SIPTU representatives have rejected a claim by finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, that the State cannot afford to stop the increase in the pension age to 67 years in 2021. Responding to finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, who questioned how the €200 million cost of such a policy could be funded, SIPTU Researcher, Michael Taft, said that it could be financed from the existing Social Insurance Fund.

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SIPTU members in Virgin Media Ireland to ballot for industrial action

SIPTU members employed by Virgin Media Ireland will ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action, in a dispute concerning an attempt to impose compulsory redundancies and the failure to implement a Labour Court recommendation by the company. SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “At very well attended meetings of our members held recently in Limerick, Dublin and Cork it was unanimously decided to conduct a ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action.

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SIPTU members in GoSafe to hold protest at Leinster House on Thursday 7th November

SIPTU members in GoSafe are to hold a further one day stoppage on Thursday, 7th November, due to the company’s continued to refusal to accept a Labour Court recommendation that it engages with the union on their behalf. The workers, who operate speed cameras across the country, are in dispute which is centred on conditions of employment and health and safety issues

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SIPTU calls for faster implementation of the new media charge

SIPTU has called on Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, to recognise the extent of the funding crisis for public service broadcasting by the speedier implementation of the new media charge which was announced today (Friday, 2nd August). SIPTU Head of Services Division, Karan O’Loughlin, also said that union members would oppose the out-sourcing of licence fee collection and the imposition of any additional financial burden on households who are currently paying their TV licence.

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Bord na Móna workers to protest against lay-offs in Longford tomorrow

Bord Na Móna workers are to hold a public protest in county Longford tomorrow (Monday 23rd July) to highlight their opposition to the immediate threat by the company to lay off permanent staff at Mountdillon without pay. Trade union members of SIPTU, Connect and Unite, who are organising the protest, are also objecting to the treatment of seasonal workers who have already been laid off indefinitely without regard to their employment rights. The protest will commence on the Bridge of Lanesboro at 7.30 p.m. and the unions are calling on all affected workers, their local communities and political representatives to take part.

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National health care assistants forum launched in the Royal College of Physicians

SIPTU representatives have today (Monday, 1st July) welcomed the launch of a report into the role of health care assistants (HCA) at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin. Conducted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in collaboration with union representatives and public health service stakeholders, it is the first review of the role of the HCA’s in more than a decade.

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SIPTU to enter WRC talks in health dispute

SIPTU Health representatives have today (Wednesday, 12th June) accepted an invitation to attend exploratory talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) tomorrow (Thursday, 13th June) at 2.30pm to discuss the dispute on job evaluation. The dispute has led to the scheduled strike action of 10,000 health workers, which is due to commence on Thursday, 20th June.

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Unions call for enhanced local authority powers as Ireland ranks last in EU local democracy index

Trade unions representing over 30,000 local council workers today (Wednesday, 27th March) launched a campaign for substantially increased revenue and funding powers for local authorities, and published research that shows Irish councils have less autonomy from central government than their counterparts in 39 European countries. The ‘More Power To You’ campaign also calls for legislative changes to facilitate directly-elected mayors and restore and expand town councils, which were abolished in 2014.

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