SIPTU welcomes Dáil vote to support the retention of Local Employment Services
SIPTU representatives have welcomed the passing by the Dáil last night (Tuesday, 30th November) of a motion calling on the Government to retain the current “not for profit” model of Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs.
SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane: said: “The motion passed in the Dáil last night is an extremely significant milestone in the ‘Our Community is Not for Sale’ campaign. The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, should respect this vote and move to immediately halt the tendering process for commercial companies to take over these services.
“Our members appreciate the support of Sinn Féin, the Labour Party, People Before Profit and Independent politicians who engaged with union representatives and spoke in favour of the motion.
SIPTU representatives have consistently expressed great concern and resisted the preference shown by the Department of Social Protection to privatise employment services down the years. The motion calls on the Government to ‘suspend all plans to tender out employment services’ and to work with stakeholders to develop a future for the sector.”
He added: “Last month, the members of the Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, issued a report on LES and Job Clubs which supports the retention of these services in their current form. We believe this cross party report should give the Minister an opportunity to suspend the tendering process for LES and Job Clubs and immediately establish a stakeholder forum, which includes union participation, to discuss the future of these essential community services.”
Moving the motion last night, Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection, Claire Kerrane, said: “We have seen what privatisation has done to employment services. We have seen it through JobPath, which has had a success rate of 7% in the last six years. Of the more than 370,000 people referred to it, there was a cost to the taxpayer of €275 million for 7% of those people to be sustained in a job for at least 52 weeks. What the Minister is doing is a mistake. I ask that she look at it again. Everybody involved has asked that she look at it again.”