Congress General Secretary says strike ban proposal would “meet strong resistance”
There was some “interesting” reaction to the report of the Public Service Pay Commission in our newspapers in the last week. Apparently, the fact that the commission recognised that there was no real gap in earnings between public and private sectors and that there was, therefore, a basis for public service pay negotiations, caused some discomfort in predictable quarters.
In a previous blog, I paid tribute to four women former Presidents who were moving on. I bumped into a fifth former union President, Fiona Lee, in her role as a representative of another union, at a meeting last week. She too has moved on, so that by the end of this year five of the last six Presidents, all women, will no longer be members.
To lose one President is a pity, to lose 4 in one go?!! Well, that is the union’s fate. Our outgoing President, Maria Ryan, advised our ADC of her promotion to AP. Also promoted in the weeks leading up to ADC were former Presidents, Valerie Behan and Patricia Tobin. Add to that the news that former President, Rhona MacSweeney, intends to retire before ADC 2018 and we are looking at a loss of energy, commitment and leadership on a grand scale. Also, promoted in the run-up to ADC was our former Chair. of the Standing Orders Committee, Mary O’Donohoe. I want to say a few words about these inspiring women.
Congress General Secretary Patricia King today (April 27) informed the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe, that the trade union movement was ready to play its part in fashioning a coherent, clear and fair response to problems currently facing Irish society.
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.
The Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) was the best of the bad deals that were on offer in 2013. The country was still in the midsts of economic uncertainty. We were balancing on the edge of a cliff and nobody was sure how far we could plummet.
WHO (the World Health Organisation as opposed to the band) is leading a one-year global campaign on depression. The highlight of their campaign is World Health Day 2017, which is celebrated today, 7th April. The goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world both seek and get the help they need.
When do the new rates apply?
Wednesday 8th March is International Women's Day, a global day of action and solidarity. The global theme for International Women's Day is "Be Bold For Change"
The Congress Women’s Committee has urged all union members to support and respect the efforts of Mandate Trade Union members in Tesco who are resisting attempts by management to unilaterally impose changes to the contracts of employment for some 250 workers.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called for “a substantial increase” in the hourly rate of the national Minimum Wage in order to see it aligned more closely with the Living Wage.