SIPTU members working as assistants and care workers in St Brigid’s Mental Health Intellectual Disability services in Ballinasloe, county Galway, are to ballot for strike action next week.

(Left to right) SIPTU members Seamus Dillon, Susan Delaney, Siobhan Turley, Ann Cusack, Veronica Joyce and Noel Ward pictured outside St. Brigid’s ahead of a ballot for strike action next week

SIPTU member in St Brigid’s, Siobhan Turley, said: “We feel that management has not listened to us. It seems our views have absolutely nothing to do with patient care. We have looked after these people for years, on the frontline, and have the experience to continue providing the best care and service possible. It’s very disheartening to think that management can overlook us and outsource our essential work without any consultation.”

SIPTU Organiser, Liz Cloherty, said: “SIPTU representatives have been engaged with HSE Galway/Roscommon Mental Health Services on the reconfiguration to a social model of care of the mental…

SIPTU and Fórsa members, working in local employment services, demanded that the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, immediately establishes a stakeholder forum to resolve the privatisation threat to these essential community services.

Speaking at the protest SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, said: “Our members are demanding that the Minister keeps her word and engages directly with the representatives of staff, service providers and service users to ensure the future of local employment services. The establishment of a genuine stakeholder forum would be the way to make an immediate start.

The Minister has already given a commitment on the floor of Dáil Éireann to Sean Sherlock TD that she should meet with workers representatives so we expect her to honour that commitment. The reality is that every day the Minister refuses to…

The outpouring of global solidarity for Black Lives Matter (BLM) in 2020, as well key electoral defeats for the far right in countries such as Greece and Austria, demonstrate the effectiveness of the international anti-racist and social justice movement.

Demonstrators deploy a Black Lives Matter banner near the White House in Washington, D.C. in 2020.

Many of these campaigns have been spearheaded by a new generation of activists showing the ongoing vitality of the anti-racist movement. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also provided opportunities for those who seek to spread racism and other divisive agendas.

SIPTU members in the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have highlighted the crisis situation in the service today (Friday, 16th July) due to a lack of trained firefighters resulting in several vehicles being unavailable for deployment.

SIPTU DFB Convenor, Shane McGill, said: “Across the city DFB fire appliances and other vehicles are not available due to a lack of firefighters. The fire stations affected include Donnybrook, Dolphins Barn, Phibsboro, North Strand and Tara Street.

“In the Tara Street fire station a foam tender is also not available. Such an appliance is essential to responding to incidents in Dublin Port or in…

From hospital staff caring for our sick to local authority workers delivering food packages to the vulnerable or university lecturers maintaining education remotely, this pandemic has driven home not only the importance of public services but also their flexibility.

The range of public services is vast, from the largest sectors, such as health, education and local authorities to social services, policing, emergency services and community development. It is often the case that our public services are working at their best when we do not notice their impact, such as sustaining a smoothly functioning road network or maintaining the water running through our taps.

There has been a tendency in public debate to divide the economy between the private and public sectors, when in fact they are inter-dependent. One does not work without the other. A high proportion of private…

New targets and measures are required to increase the participation of socio-economically disadvantaged groups in the new National Access Plan 2022–2026 for Higher Education, according to SIPTU research.

In a submission to the Government on access to higher education, SIPTU Researcher, Loraine Mulligan, calls for urgent action to tackle the digital divide caused by differing rates of access to computer devices and improve participation among socio-economically disadvantaged groups. The submission also contains proposals to improve participation rates for part-time, flexible and mature students.

Mulligan said: “Action is needed to tackle the digital divide which has come into focus during the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding of the higher education sector must also be placed on a long-term, sustainable footing.

She added: “Our submission is about reducing costs and bolstering…

SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 14th July) said that ‘blended working’ arrangements should be made available, where possible, to workers throughout the public service and state sector.

The call follows the publication by the Government of its ‘Blended Working Policy Statement’ which facilitates civil service workers switching from pandemic-related remote working provisions to more long-term ‘blended working’ arrangements.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, said: “This is a welcome, albeit overdue, move from the Government and will go some way towards honouring the commitment in the Programme for Government for one-fifth of public sector workers to be working from home in 2021. Throughout the pandemic, our members in the state sector and public service found remote working challenging. However, many found the experience broadly positive and productive.

SIPTU representatives have called for an end to tenders for state contracts to run programmes to assist people getting back into the workforce which include financial rewards for companies, as they are the beginning of a process of wholesale privatisation of local employment services.

SIPTU Public Administration and Community Divisional Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “If these tendering processes proceed as planned it will lead to the wholesale privatisation of local employment services. This will see the forcing out of the effective community-based non-profit providers of local employment services.

“The Minister of Justice, Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphreys, claimed in the Dáil Éireann last night (Thursday, 1st July) that this tendering process will not lead to the privatisation of the services. We absolutely reject that analysis. …

SIPTU representatives have called on the Government to accept that voters prioritise public services over tax cuts as demonstrated in an opinion poll published on Sunday (27th June) by the Business Post.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, said: “The latest Red C poll published by the Business Post found that 52% were opposed to supporting tax cuts in the budget if it meant reduced investment in public services. Just 36% of respondents were in favour. This clearly shows that the majority supports the SIPTU position that investment in our public services should be a priority for government rather than tax cuts which will only further starve these essential supports for our society and economy.

“The pandemic has driven home to people the crucial importance of our public services which have been…

Recent events in Hungary, where a new law was passed that discriminates against LGBTQ people while claiming to protect children, illustrates that homophobia is alive and well in the EU.

Ireland has played a leadership role in promoting the rights of the LGBTI+ community in recent years but recent events in Waterford and Dublin illustrate that homophobia still persists and we cannot be complacent.

In the run up to this year’s virtual Pride Parade Congress General Secretary, Patricia King, said that these events serve as a reminder of the importance of Pride and to wish all members a safe, happy and enjoyable Pride. …

Liberty (@SIPTU)

Ireland’s Strongest Union. #ourSIPTU

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store