During the autumn, the PSEU, Impact and the CPSU will ballot on a proposal that all three organisations should form a new, single, bigger union. Seán Carabini from the PSEU sat down with Niall Shanahan, Impact, to discuss a committee that has been formed to consider a name for the new union.
During 2011, ICTU conducted a review of union organisation by means of a commission on
trade unions that had an international Chair and a wide range of analysis. This culminated in
a report in 2013 called ‘Future Positive’ which was critical of the way in which unions were
organised in Ireland. The report included a number of recommendations and, in particular, it
referred to union organisation in the Public Service. The issue of union organisation was
discussed at this union’s ADC in 2013 and at a meeting of Branch representatives, attended
by the ICTU General Secretary. This union’s Executive Committee decided in December 2013
to write to four other unions to suggest exploratory discussions on how the issues in ‘Future
Positive’ and the issues raised by the Commission on Trade Unions might be advanced. In
2014, the respective Executive Committees agreed to consider the development of the
concept of a new single union in order to determine if a better, stronger union could be
produced. The matter was discussed at this union’s ADC in 2014 and 2015. In 2015 a
document outlining the concept and the issues involved was issued to all members.
In early 2016, the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants, (AHCPS), and the
Veterinary Officers’ Association, (VOA), withdrew from the discussions. The remaining
unions IMPACT, Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU) and this union put a comprehensive
document to the respective conferences in conjunction with a motion to seek authority for
the continuation of discussions, with a view to balloting members in 2017. All three unions
adopted this resolution. The following is the relevant text:
This ADC notes the progress made in the New Union Project, broadly as set out in the
document published by all unions, and resolves that the union shall continue to
participate in these discussions, with a view to proposals being put to the members
on whether the union should join with other unions to form a new union. This ballot
of members should take place in 2017.
Conference 2017 sees the launch of two major reports on diversity and equal opportunities. Both reports follow on from a survey of members undertaken last year.