Irish work more, pay more and earn less

unite-white-out-of-redIrish purchasing power 16 per cent below EU-15 average

Figures highlight need to move Minimum Wage towards Living Wage

March 26th: Irish workers put in more hours, pay more for good and services, and earn less than their European counterparts according to trade union Unite.  Commenting on recent CSO figures showing that Ireland has the third highest price levels in the EU, behind only Denmark and the UK, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said today (Sunday March 26th) that, when prices are factored in, Irish wages fall 16 per cent below the EU-15 average.  At the same time, Irish workers put in more hours on the job than other Europeans.

“We already know that private sector employee compensation is six per cent behind the average of the EU-15.   But wages are just one side of the living standards coin – prices are the other, and the consumer price figures published by the CSO this month show that Irish worker face the third highest price levels in the EU.  As a result, when prices are factored in Irish wages fall a staggering 16 per cent below the EU-15 average.

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Jimmy Kelly: Taoiseach must intervene to resolve Bus Éireann dispute

unite-white-out-of-redDispute rooted in policy choices and requires political solutions

Underlying issues have implications for future of public transport

March 24th: Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly today called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to intervene urgently to ensure resolution of the current dispute at Bus Éireann, the safeguarding of jobs at the company, and Bus Éireann’s future as a public transport entity.  Unite represents craft workers at the company.

Pointing out that the subvention levels to Bus Éireann are not only low compared to other European countries, but have been slashed by 22% in real terms since 2009, Mr Kelly said that the issues underlying the current dispute have implications for the future of Ireland’s public transport system as a whole..

“It is not good enough for the Government to adopt a hands-off approach.  This dispute is rooted in policy choices and requires political solutions.

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Welcome for Department’s three-month extension for fixed-contract Youth Workers

unite-against-hateDepartment of Education confirms more than one hundred fixed-term youth workers will have their contracts extended to the end of June 2017

Political parties now need to agree re-establishment of a functioning Executive to secure vital public services

March 24th: Unite Regional Officer, Taryn Trainor, has welcomed the confirmation by the Department of Education that will extend the contracts of more than one hundred fixed-term Youth Service workers from the beginning of April to the end of June 2017:

“Youth services play a vital role in our society, particular in the most socially deprived areas, through supporting young people transition from childhood to adulthood. These services are vital in addressing the challenges associated with high youth unemployment, unprecedented rates of suicide and poor youth mental health that support services. Continue reading

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Bus Éireann management bears responsibility for ‘avoidable’ strike action

unite-white-out-of-redUnite condemns ‘unprecedented’ sidelining of WRC

Unite members working for Bus Éireann are preparing to commence strike action at midnight tonight.  Speaking this afternoon after a meeting in Unite’s Dublin offices of the five trade unions involved, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said:

“Bus Éireann management bears full responsibility for what should have been an avoidable strike.  Their decision to sideline the WRC is, in my experience, unprecedented.  The behaviour of management, culminating in yesterday’s letter to staff, raises very serious questions regarding the commitment of both management and Bus Éireann’s shareholder, the Minister, to the future of the company as a public transport provider offering a quality public service to the public and decent terms and conditions to its workers.

“While we remain available to engage under the auspices of the WRC, the unions are determined to defend the interests of our members and the travelling public.

“Our members are now preparing to take indefinite strike action from midnight tonight, Mr Quigley concluded.

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Bus Éireann: Unite surprised at ‘high-risk’ strategy by management

unite-white-out-of-redUnion warns that unilateral imposition of cuts will have consequences

March 21st: Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, today expressed surprise at what it termed management’s ‘high-risk’ strategy and warned that any move to unilaterally impose cuts is likely to trigger strike action.  Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley was responding to reports that Bus Éireann management intends writing to employees announcing the unilateral implementation of effective cuts to their terms and conditions.

Commenting, Mr Quigley pointed out that today’s reports are just the latest instance of Bus Éireann threatening the unilateral imposition of cuts, and he expressed surprise that management would make this move given recent intensive engagement with unions at the WRC and the provision of clarification by drivers’ unions as requested by the company.

“Bus Éireann’s decision to once again threaten unilateral imposition of cuts, notwithstanding recent intensive engagement at the WRC, is a high-risk strategy which could well backfire given the collective decision by all unions involved to take immediate strike action in the event of management proceeding unilaterally with cuts”, Mr Quigley warned.

“Unions have engaged in good faith with Bus Éireann management at the WRC and have provided all the requested clarification.  The Board is due to sign off on the company’s accounts next Monday, and we would urge management to use the window before this deadline to continue engaging with unions rather than imposing cuts unilaterally.

“It is increasingly clear that all stakeholders need to be involved in developing an efficient and sustainable public transport strategy going forward.  Regional bus transport must be central to such a strategy, and I would urge Bus Éireann management to refrain from doing anything which could threaten the company’s continued existence as a key player in Ireland’s public transport landscape”, Willie Quigley concluded.


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