27 March 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Bus services to continue in Finglas

BUS services are to continue in Finglas after drivers reversed their earlier decision to stop services in the area after a series of attacks on drivers and buses. Drivers from both SIPTU and NBRU received assurances from Dublin Bus management and local Gardaí that health and safety concerns of buss driver would be addressed. Drivers have said however that they will withdraw services again should there be any further serious incidents.
According to SIPTU, there had been at least one attack every day for the past three weeks on Dublin buses. Management of the company have said that the Gardaí will initiate a “rapid response” should there be any further incidents. As well as this an education programme would also be put in place in local schools to highlight the importance of bus services locally. 


Justice group condemn incomes below poverty line

SOCIAL justice advocacy group, CORI, who delivered its annual socio-economic review this week, has said that almost 750,000 people in the 26 Counties are living on incomes below the poverty line and 30% of all households at risk of poverty are headed by a person with a job.
CORI directors, Fr. Sean Healy, termed this 30% group as the “working poor” and said that the “failure by government to address the issue of poverty is a serious indictment of how the resources available throughout the Celtic Tiger years were used.”
According to Healy, 17% of the total population, have incomes less than the standard poverty line recognised by the European Commission and the United Nations. The poverty line equates to an annual of €11,400 for a single person and €26,400 for a household of four.
CORI called on the government to ensure that the working poor benefited from the full value of the tax credit to which they were entitled which would require that tax credits were made refundable. He also called for the lowest welfare rate for a single person to be a minimum of 30% of gross average industrial earnings.


Lecturers may strike over funding row

THE Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) has said technology lecturers, may strike over a lack of funding. Members who are being balloted at the union’s annual conference in Wexford this week are said to be unhappy with funding at various institutes of technology for undergraduate facilities. They have also raised concerns on the overcrowding of lecture rooms and workshops and said it is possible that the IT sector will now not be able to honour its commitments under the national pay agreements.
General Secretary of the TUI, Peter MacMenamin said: “Institutes have frequently advised the union that they do not have the funds available to implement industrial relations agreements, whether they be Labour Court recommendations or any other agreements. This is unacceptable and the forthcoming TUI congress will almost certainly vote to take industrial action on the non-implementation of a recent Labour Court recommendation.”
According to the union, levels of funding made available to the institutes of technology in the 26 Counties is “excessively low” in comparison with other Third Level education facilities and was “abysmal” in international comparisons.

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