Many workers in Ireland are afraid to form a union at work. They know that unions are the best way for workers to get a say in the workplace and to be treated with respect but they are afraid of victimisation by management if they unionise.

When workers have the opportunity to talk with a union official in their workplace about the pros and cons of forming a union, free from the fear of intimidation by management, they can make an informed decision about whether or not to unionise.

That’s what happened recently in Aonach Mhaca in Armagh and on May Day 2021 the management signed a union recognition and collective bargaining agreement with the Union Organiser Niall McNally on behalf of SIPTU.


Many workers in Ireland are afraid to form a union at work. They know that unions are the best way for workers to get a say in the workplace and to be treated with respect but they are afraid of victimisation by management if they unionise.

When workers have the opportunity to talk with a union official in their workplace about the pros and cons of forming a union, free from the fear of intimidation by management, they can make an informed decision about whether or not to unionise.

That’s what happened recently in Aonach Mhaca in Armagh and on May Day 2021 the management signed a union recognition and collective bargaining agreement with the Union Organiser Niall McNally on behalf of SIPTU.


The Government has asked the Low Pay Commission to come up with proposals to implement a living wage. This follows its commitment to introduce a living wage by 2025.

This is a welcome development. However, we should be cautious about what to expect.

First, the timeline to just the beginning of the implementation stage could be as long as 18 months. The Low Pay Commission will probably send its proposals to government by the end of the year. The Government will deliberate on the proposals and engage in consultation with stakeholders. It is only then, after achieving a consensus, will they proceed. This will necessarily take time.

Second, a major issue is how to calculate a living wage. The Living Wage Technical Group, of which SIPTU is a…


Low pay is widespread in Ireland and particularly widespread in the industries organised by the SIPTU Services Division.

Many workers in the hospitality, contract services, wholesale, retail, arts and entertainment industries are categorised as ‘low paid’, which can be classified as being paid below the living wage of €12.30 per hour.

We have a minimum wage of €10.20 per hour in Ireland, that is the minimum rate of pay that all workers should get under the law. The majority of workers on the minimum wage struggle to make ends meet.

Even during this current pandemic, members in some workplaces organised by the SIPTU Services Division have achieved, negotiated and agreed pay increases.

However, in many other cases, employers…


Responding to the announcement today, 24th April, of the results of the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality, SIPTU members have welcomed its ‘priority recommendation’ on the establishment of a legal right to collective bargaining for workers in all sectors.

The Union has further welcomed the priority recommendations in relation to public funding for the early years education and care sector; improved pay and working conditions for care workers; an increase in the minimum wage to the living wage along with measures to help workers to balance care and work responsibilities.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Ethel Buckley, highlighted the recommendation that the right of workers to engage in collective bargaining as a means of improving their wages, working conditions, rights and employment security be enshrined in Irish law.

She said: “SIPTU prioritised the introduction of the legal right to…


SIPTU representatives have today (Saturday, 17th April) welcomed an eleventh hour intervention of Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath to settle the long standing Community Employment (CE) supervisors pension dispute.

In correspondence issued to members of the Oireachtas today, Mr McGrath advised that an agreement had been reached between the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphries, and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to identify a possible resolution to this protracted struggle for pension justice.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Jane Boushell, said: “Our members welcome the news that the Minister has finally seen the light and is not prepared to force these essential workers down the road of industrial action. The statement of intent from the Minister today absolutely vindicates our campaign for pension justice for CE supervisors. …


SIPTU economist, Michael Taft, has said that the projections in the Stability Programme Update (SPU) of continued ‘low-tax, low-spend’ policies by the Government will undermine the future growth prospects of the economy.

The SPU was published by the Department of Finance today (14th April) and sets out a range of economic policies to be pursued by the Government over the coming years.

Michael Taft said: “While today’s projections are based on a ‘no-change’ policy, the underlying path is to return to pre-pandemic normality, which is unsuitable to the challenges society faces over the next decade.

“On a positive note, the SPU suggests that, without any tax increases or spending cuts, the deficit will disappear by 2025. This should be the end of any talk about the need for austerity or fiscal contraction.


A major manufacturing company based in county Limerick has been found to have made unlawful deductions from the pay of some of its workers by the Workplace Relations Commission. The case, involving 48 SIPTU members, arose following a cut in wages for workers put on short-time working by the company in 2019.

At the hearing, SIPTU representatives successfully argued under Section 5 of the Payment of Wages Act 1991 that the workers were entitled to be paid for the period they were on short-time because they had not consented to, nor was there a term and condition in the workers contracts of employment, providing for unpaid short-time.

Despite arguments from management that the unpaid wages being sought were not “properly payable” and that the company had an implied right to place workers on unpaid short-time due to a practice established during the economic crash in 2008, a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudicator…


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…


SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 31st March) written to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien to demand that a Covid-19 stakeholder forum for local authorities beestablished and convened without delay.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “Our members across city and county councils are extremely disappointed by the Department’s failure to establish a proper Covid-19 stakeholder forum. A forum, similar to those established in other Departments with strong trade union representation, will enable issues impacting on all city and county council frontline staff, including full time and retained firefighters, to be addressed in a transparent and timely manner.”

“The announcement by the Government that they are now abandoning previous Covid-19 vaccination priority sequencing methodology to favour an age-based approach has caused concern. Our members believe this sudden change in policy…

Liberty (@SIPTU)

Ireland’s Strongest Union. #ourSIPTU

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