Monday, 23 November 2015

SIPTU Campaign for Disability Services

SIPTU Campaign for Disability Services 


SIPTU has launched a campaign calling on Government to invest in Personal Assistant (PA) service so that people with disabilities have the services they need & PA workers have a decent wage.

Because of a lack of funding many people with disabilities are not getting the Personal Assistant support they need, making some prisoners in their own home.
PAs have also suffered cuts to their pay and conditions, making ends meet a real challenge for many.
People with a disability deserve to live with dignity and workers deserve a living wage.


We all have the right to own independence, it's time to make this a reality for all.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Family Resourse Centres are Getting Organised

Workers in Family Resource Centres (FRC) across the country are getting organised in SIPTU to ensure they have strong voice nationally.

Workers in the over 100 FRCs support families in difficult circumstances and provide
practical assistance to community groups delivering training and education.

County Kerry FRC worker and SIPTU activist, Suzanna Griffin, said: “FRCs play a vital role in communities. They base their work on community development principles, and involve people from marginalised groups and areas of disadvantage. FRC workers support families, help children, and look after the elderly and disabled.”

She added: “However, they have suffered massively due to cuts. Currently, 50% of FRCs have to  fundraise to meet their basic wage costs and pay basic overheads, such as heating and lighting.

“Most FRC core staff have had a pay freeze since 2008, with no increments awarded, and no increase in rates of pay since then. Others have taken pay cuts to ensure their centres have remained open. During this time, FRC staff workloads have increased significantly such is the demand for the services they provide.”

Griffin, who is also a SIPTU NEC Equality Subcommittee member and the union’s representative on the National Womens Council, added: “With TUSLA (the Child and Family Agency) taking over the funding of FRCs there will be changes. By organising with SIPTU, workers will be in a better position to protect jobs and the delivery of vital community services.”

Services and Jobs focus of Disability Campaign

The SIPTU Community Sector is to launch a campaign to safeguard quality Personal Assistant (PA) services and jobs with workers, service users and providers later this year.

SIPTU activist and PA, Stephanie McNamara, said: “People with disabilities deserve the right to fully participate in their communities, to have an education, a job and family. For many people with significant disabilities this is made possible by SIPTU members who work as PAs in the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Centres for Independent Living.”

Since 2008 the overall disability budget has been cut by €159 million and PAs have suffered pay cuts and reduced hours. Meanwhile demand for PA services and other home care support grows.

The Department of Health is also proposing to put the Assisted Living Service out to tender; if this happens unchecked it will drive down wages for PAs. The impact of tendering in home care services for elderly people has resulted in some private companies paying as little as €9 per hour to workers.

However, the SIPTU PA campaign will focus on increasing funding and ensuring fair rates of pay.

For more information contact Shonagh Byrne at 01 858 6381 or

High Level Forum brings together workers and decision-makers

A new High Level Forum for the Community Sector will bring together workers’ representatives directly with officials from government departments and agencies. 

SIPTU and Impact negotiators proposed the establishment of the Forum during the talks leading up to the Lansdowne Road agreement. The creation of this Forum is a significant breakthrough for workers in the Community Sector. 

It has been agreed that government departments and statutory agencies’ officials will meet on an ongoing basis in the High Level Forum to:

• Ensure the effective exchange of information on relevant
issues in the Sector
• Receive updates on public expenditure levels in the sector
• Receive regular information updates on service delivery
and best outcomes in the Sector
• Address with full consideration issues such as pensions and terms and conditions of employment related to employment in the Sector

The High Level Forum will be convened by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and will meet on a quarterly basis.

SIPTU Vice President, Gene Mealy, a lead negotiator in the talks establishing the new High Level Forum, said: “This Forum is probably the most important initiative secured for workers in the sector in recent years. It overcomes a major difficulty experienced by unions in resolving any serious industrial relations issues affecting their members. While recourse to the Labour Court has resulted in
supportive recommendations some government departments and agencies have failed to honour them.

“The new High Level Forum for the sector provides a formal mechanism to enable fruitful engagement and negotiated solutions for union members.”

Friday, 17 January 2014

Kiely’s CRC package exposes double standard in the C&V Sector

SIPTU Vice-President, Patricia King, has said double standards within the Community and Voluntary (C&V) sector have been exposed with the retirement package of over €740,000 for the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC), Paul Kiely.

The revelation at the Public Accounts Committee that the massive lump sum and redundancy package had been provided to the former CEO is in stark contrast to the experience of workers, including very low paid employees, in the C&V Sector, she said.

Over eighty workers from a range of publicly funded C&V projects have been waiting up to three years for the State to honour twenty Labour Court and Rights Commissioner findings in relation to redundancy.

Patricia King said: “There appears to be a two tier community sector. One where ordinary workers are denied basic entitlements while those in positions of power enjoy premier league pay-outs. We are calling on the Government to honour the outstanding Labour Court recommendations and introduce a standard redundancy regime for the C&V sector to avoid such gross inequalities in the future.” 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Community Sector Assembly

ICTU Community Sector Committee

The ICTU Community Sector committee has will be convening an Assembly for workers employed in the Community and Voluntary sector on:

Monday 18th November
Liberty Hall, Dublin 1

Workers in the sector are facing severe challenges to their jobs and livelihood in the immediate future due to the accumulated impact of continuous funding cuts and the imposition of major policy and programme changes now underway and affecting all jobs and services.

The Community workers assembly will provide an unique opportunity to present the implications of these changes and to ensure that workers are better informed and better organised in response to this challenge.

There will be keynote speakers including Brain Harvey (Researcher), Ann Irwin (CWC), Patricia King (SIPTU Vice President) and Kevin Callaghan (IMPACT).  

There will also be an open discussion on the challenges and response of workers to the ongoing threat to jobs and services. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Politicians to attend forum on inner city youth services

A public forum to discuss “The future of Youth Services in the North Inner City” will be held in the,  SWAN Youth Service St Agatha’s hall, Dunne St, D1 on Wednesday 26th of June from 6.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.  The meeting has been organised by six different projects from the north inner city including the Adventure Sports Project, Ballybough Youth Service, Bradog Regional Youth Service, Lourdes Youth and Community Services, SWAN Youth Service and the Wexford Centre Project.

The meeting will be an opportunity for Youth Service organisations from the North Inner City to showcase what they do and to highlight the detrimental impact of proposed further government cuts to budgets. SIPTU activist Ashling Golden, a youth service worker from the SWAN Centre explained: “Some projects have already lost over 30% of their budgets, are running with no programme budget and have lost workers too, yet demand for youth services has never been higher. This meeting will give the communities most affected by austerity an opportunity to discuss with local TDs and councillors what future there will be for the youth services in their area.”

The meeting will be chaired by UCD researcher and author of the book ‘Sins of the Father’, Conor McCabe, and will also hear contributions from Anastasia Crickley, the Head of the Department of Applied Social Studies in Maynooth and from local young people, parents and youth Workers.TDs who have already confirmed their attendance are Mary Lou McDonald, Paschal Donohoe and Maureen O’Sullivan, while a number of other councillors and representatives from various community and political groups are also expected to be present on the night.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Darragh O’Connor, urged people from the local communities affected to attend on the night.

“The future of youth services is at stake here. Funding cuts are having a major impact on service delivery, and the sector is being de-professionalised by the imposition of part time hours, and fixed term contracts. The right to representation by our members is at the core of many of these issues because to date the voices and concerns of community workers have been ignored by this government,” he said.