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…

SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 26th March) called on the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, to release the funds necessary to settle the Community Employment supervisors pension dispute without delay or run the risk of another round of strike action.

CE Supervisor, Michelle Rohan.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Jane Boushell, said: “It is outrageous that CE supervisors are still waiting for this matter to be resolved. The patience of our members is wearing thin. We cannot continue to have all talk and no action from Government. Our members have waited long enough. An emergency meeting of our national CE supervisor committee is planned for Wednesday 31stMarch to discuss our next steps including the escalation to all out strike action.”

“Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, CE supervisors have made sure a range of essential services, from keeping our towns clean to providing a meals on wheels…

SIPTU representatives have today (Thursday, 25th March) written to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly,criticising his refusal to meet student radiographers and expressing extreme disappointment over his lack of commitment to address any of the serious concerns over clinical placements during the pandemic.

SIPTU Industrial Organiser, John McCamley, said: “The response from the Minister’s office is not acceptable. Student radiographers over the last year have put their lives at risk carry out frontline work for no financial reward and to be left high and dry by the Minister is completely shocking. It is scandalous that up to 400 student radiographers continue to make an essential contribution to the health service and are not being recognised for their work.

“The reality is that clinical placements involve direct patient care and assisting qualified radiographers in hospital X-ray departments and theatres. The pandemic has exacerbated the…

SIPTU members in the union’s Community Sector have urged the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, to reverse plans to privatise community and employment services including the Local Development Companies (LDCs) involved in job creation and support for the unemployed.

The call follows a meeting of delegates at the sectors’ AGM held online today.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Jane Boushell, said: “This proposed process has created a real and genuine concern among our members that the wholesale privatisation of the community sector is the ultimate end game for this government. LDCs are constituted on a ‘not for profit’ basis and the proposal to change these essential services to a cost-bid rather than cost-met model will not serve jobseekers, staff or communities well.

“The move may well ultimately facilitate the selling off of these important services to private companies with little to…

SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 12th March) welcomed a recommendation by the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, that a Joint Labour Committee (JLC) for the early learning and care (ELC) and school-age childcare (SAC) sector will be established.

The recommendation was made in a letter sent today from Mr O’Gorman to Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English.

SIPTU Head of Organising, Darragh O’Connor, said: “If a JLC is established it will provide an opportunity for SIPTU and IBEC to engage in negotiations on an Employment Regulation Order (ERO) which could ultimately establish long-awaited binding rates of pay and conditions for the sector.

“The reality is poverty pay is undermining quality for children and leaves qualified professionals struggling to make ends meet. The Minister’s recommendation gives these essential workers a clear pathway towards better pay…

SIPTU has said that increasing the pension age will make no significant contribution to the cost of the State pension scheme. It has also called for a ‘statutory right to remain’ to allow employees to stay in their jobs up to and beyond the pension age and for fair treatment of carers and workers in arduous jobs.

In its submission to the Commission on Pensions, the union has argued that the pension age should not be increased from 66 and that raising the age will make no significant contribution to the cost of the State pension scheme.

SIPTU economist, Michael Taft said: “There is no doubt that the cost of pensions will increase in the future. However, the debate over pension sustainability has been distorted by the almost exclusive focus on the pension age. There is no evidence that increasing the pension age will significantly reduce costs. …

SIPTU representatives have said that the draft EU Directive on pay transparency, published today (Thursday, 4th March), will effectively lock women into a state of permanent pay inequality.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for Organising and Membership Development, Ethel Buckley, said: “While this long awaited and overdue Directive contains some fine aspirations, it falls way short in terms of the actions and urgency required to deliver real change for women workers.

“While the Directive aims to reduce secrecy on pay, it does not provide the practical tools necessary to negotiate and address the glaring pay inequalities that exist for women workers. The gender pay gap is currently standing at 14.4% in Ireland and if recent rates of progress are anything to go by the women of Europe and…

SIPTU members were shocked to hear this morning that Bank of Ireland has announced the closure of 103 branches in its branch network, including 15 in the North and 88 in the Republic of Ireland.

SIPTU Organiser, Peadar Nolan said: “This has come as a complete bolt out of the blue and at a time when staff have been working tirelessly during the Covid-19 crisis to ensure the network is operational and kept open for customers. We are calling on the bank to halt any plans to close these branches, particularly while staff and customers are trying to cope during the pandemic.

“We are seeking an immediate meeting with management to discuss this decision and will be seeking alternatives to the plan. …

Liberty (@SIPTU)

Ireland’s Strongest Union. #ourSIPTU

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