29 May 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Local government workers to vote on industrial action

COUNTY COUNCIL, Education Board and Housing Executive unions in the Six Counties announced plans this week to ballot members for industrial action after they voted to reject a 2.45 per cent pay offer tabled by Local Government Employers.
Any industrial action in the North could affect public services, including refuse collection and street cleaning as most of the workers involved in these areas are in the Unite trade union which will be balloting its members. Public service union NIPSA will also ballot its members and the GMB is currently consulting its membership.
Regional Organiser for Unite Albert Mills said: “Our members are understandably angered and frustrated. Local Government Employers must recognise that local government workers are struggling with soaring energy and food costs. This pay offer is a pay cut and it’s totally unacceptable.”



Ballymun hotel workers win back jobs

BALLYMUN hotel workers won back their jobs after the new operators of the Ballymun Plaza Hotel, Travelodge and Egan Catering, agreed to employ the former workers.
SIPTU Organiser Miriam Hamilton welcomed the commitment as a victory for the union and local community leaders.
They had waged a month-long fight which saw several protests at the hotel premises and a Ballymun May Day rally in support of the workers who were sacked when the hotel was repossessed earlier on this year.

State pension policy biased against women

THE National Women’s Council has said this week that women will be at the greatest risk of poverty if the Irish Government continues to prioritise private pensions in a report on gender discrimination in pensions.
In Pensions: What Women Want, the NWCI has said that if the Government continues to rely on private pensions with tax incentives it will further marginalise vulnerable women. The NWCI stated that it does not support tax-based voluntary savings as they immediately favour those who can afford to save and are in secure and well-paid employment. Women tend to be in lower paid employment and suffer disruptions to work life due to more family responsibilities than men.
The NWCI advocates a reformed PRSI system that will eliminate gender-based discrimination and calls for a women’s representative to be included on the Pensions Board.


University staff vote for industrial action

UNIVERSITY of Ulster staff have voted to strike as a result of facing paycuts of up to £5,000. The staff who are members of Unite trade union have said they voted 71 per cent in favour of taking the strike action after the university’s failure to address their concerns on implementing the recent Job Evaluation Scheme. Unite have said that the outcome of the scheme has been ignored by the university and staff are being forced to undertake increased levels of responsibility or take pay cuts. Steve Tweed, Unite Regional Officer, says: “The Job Evaluation Scheme was not implemented in a fair and consistent manner which has seen large numbers of our members facing pay cuts of up to £5,000. This is at a time when the Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett, has been awarded a 25 per cent increase in pay.” Barnett has refused to meet with Unite or respond to correspondence on the issue.


Airport police and fire staff to take industrial action

NINE out of ten (92 per cent) of the Dublin Airport Authority Police and Fire Service staff have voted in favour of taking industrial action in a row over pay agreements SIPTU says the Authority has breached.
The agreements link the pay for airport police and fire staff to the pay of gardaí and fire service staff. Dermot O’Loughlin, a SIPTU representative, said that there are a number of issues in dispute but the most serious is a shortage of officers to cover operational safety and security at Dublin Airport.

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