Workers at twelve Belfast leisure centres to be balloted on strike action in pursuit of six percent pay rise


Local political parties asked to bring back municipal leisure services into council management and provide all leisure workers a pay uplift

Michael Keenan, Unite Regional Officer confirmed that his union would be balloting its members working for outsourced management company, Greenwich Leisure Limited, across all twelve municipal leisure centres in Belfast

 “Unite has brought forward a UK-wide pay claim for all our members working for outsourced management company, Greenwich Leisure Limited, which calls for a six percent pay uplift. Unfortunately this company has failed to revert with anything at all – leaving my union no alternative but to bring forward a ballot on industrial action in Belfast. Unite members working at Bromley libraries are already taking strike action after voting overwhelmingly for industrial action. Continue reading

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Major win for English Language Teachers

unite-white-out-of-redQQA Bill is passed and mediator recommends establishment of Joint Labour Committee

July 12th: Unite, which represents English Language Teachers, today (Friday) welcomed the passage of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018, and the publication of the Mediator’s report on the Commercial English Language Education Sector.

The mediator, Mr Patrick King, had been appointed by Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor to prepare a report on the ELT sector following the snap closure of Grafton College last December.  His report recommends the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee leading to the issuing of an Employment Regulation Order to address the working conditions and pay of English Language Teachers.  As the union which substantially represents the workers concerned, Unite has welcomed the report and has written to the Minister seeking a clear timeline for the establishment of the JLC.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Brendan Byrne said:

Continue reading

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TCD protest hears workers’ rights being abused on publicly-funded project

unite-white-out-of-redTime to turn off contract stream to rogue employers

July 11th:  Unite, which organises construction workers, held a protest this morning (Thursday) at the site of TCD’s new Oisin House student accommodation block on Pearse Street.

The main contractor on the publicly-funded project is Bennett Construction, but mechanical works are being carried out by a sub-contractor, GMG Mechanical.  Unite has learnt that GMG Mechanical have been found to be paying workers less than the minimum rates stipulated in the Sectoral Employment Order governing mechanical workers.

It is illegal to pay workers below SEO rates, and Unite’s Regional Officer for Construction, Tom Fitzgerald, told this morning’s protest that Oisin House is just the latest in a series of publicly funded projects where, he said, “employers are cutting corners by cutting workers’ rights”.

“A few weeks ago, Unite joined with other unions to protest at bogus self-employment on the flagship National Children’s Hospital site.  Today, we are protesting illegal pay rates at a project on the site of Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College Dublin.

“The state must start using its considerable purchasing power to exclude companies found to be abusing workers’ rights from bidding for public contracts.

“Public contracts are funded by the taxpayer, and it is unacceptable that the taxpayer should be effectively forced to subsidise rogue employers”, Tom Fitzgerald concluded.

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Vote by Westminster in support of Marriage Equality and Reproductive Choice is a historic victory for equality campaigners

_TC80104Fears Conservative party may seek to limit or restrict impact of decisive Westminster votes

Unite Regional Equalities & Women’s Officer, Taryn Trainor, welcomed the vote by Westminster to adopt an amendment into the second reading of the Northern Ireland (Executive ) bill which will extend the right to marriage to same-sex couples.

“Last night’s vote in the Commons to extend marriage equality and abortion access to Northern Ireland is a historic victory for the large majority of people here who want to see change. It is also a victory for the tens of thousands who have been campaigning hard on these issues for many years and absolutely to be celebrated. Continue reading

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Nuffield trust study on Northern Ireland Health & Social Care confirms damaging impact of protracted political failure

Unite Conference 106

Local political leaders are held responsible for worst waiting lists in the UK and failure to deliver needed reform

Crisis in Northern Ireland health and social care must be addressed through investment and NHS pay equalisation

July 10th: Kevin McAdam, Unite Regional Officer responded to a study of the challenges facing Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care system conducted by the Nuffield Trust:

“We note with interest the very detailed report from Nuffield. Once again we have evidence of how our lack of government due to protracted political failure is damaging our people’s health. Continue reading

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