SIPTU members working for the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have today (Saturday, 3rd April) said they are extremely disappointed and frustrated over the lack of engagement with management over many workplace issues holding back the organisation. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Martin O’Rourke, said: “SIPTU has proudly represented workers in the FAI since 2012. During that time, we have raised matters of concern in a reasonable and respectful manner while making progress in a number of key areas. However, since the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer in November 2020, that constructive relationship has unfortunately deteriorated. Our members believe this sudden change of tact is not good for the development of staff or football in Ireland.” “SIPTU members have consistently worked in innovative ways with the FAI in the past and were to the fore in securing essential funding to keep the organisation afloat during very difficult times in 2019. Our members believe that a statement from the new CEO saying “there is no agreement in place to formally recognise SIPTU for any form of collective bargaining purposes” is extremely disappointing and an insult to loyal staff who only have the interests of the beautiful game at heart. “The reality is SIPTU members have dealt with ongoing pay deferrals, numerous new external appointments across a number of departments and watched as the organisation has been restructured in a less than transparent manner. They are frustrated and say enough is enough. FAI workers want fair play and union representation.” He added: “These issues have now been referred to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) but it is beyond disappointing that the FAI are incapable of resolving this through open and direct dialogue with the union. SIPTU representatives are calling upon the FAI board and FAI executive leadership to engage with us so we can drive football forward. There is a lot of work to be done.”