SIPTU has called on the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) to attend a conciliation conference hosted by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) to discuss a dispute at the animal welfare charity resulting from a unilateral change to workers hours of employment. SIPTU Organiser, Karen Smollen, said: “We are seeking the assistance of the LRC following a decision by the management of the DSPCA to unilaterally reduce the working week from five to three days for three SIPTU members at the charity’s animal shelter in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.“The LRC contacted SIPTU on Friday (10th October) to inform it that the DSPCA has been invited to attend a conciliation conference in relation to this dispute. It is hoped that this offer is accepted by the charity’s management”.Karen Smollen added: “SIPTU received a letter on 30th September from the DSPCA CEO, Brian Gillen, stating that the Society had seen its income fall considerably and that this had resulted in the need to implement changes to workers’ terms and conditions of employment. This is despite workers receiving assurances that in 2011 that the charity would not overly rely on declining funding streams.“In 2011, the staff and their union were fully consulted by management in regard to the charity’s critical funding position. It is regrettable that the Society has decided on this occasion to not engage with the staff or union to seek an alternative means of addressing its financial difficulties. SIPTU members working in the DSPCA Veterinary Hospital and Boarding Kennels which are also affected by the current shortfall have not been consulted with either.“The workers who have had their working week reduced are long serving members of staff with a wealth of experience. They could offer more to the Society by staying on full time hours and exploring ways to increase funding at