Workers to challenge Causeway Coast & Glens Councillors on Poverty Pay

Gareth ScottUnite members will seek support for Living Wage pay commitment ahead of Coleraine council meeting tonight [Tuesday, June 27th 6pm]

June 27th: Unite Regional Officer Gareth Scott confirmed his union’s members would seek to engage councillors at Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council tonight over their failure to pay all workers a Living Wage.

“As part of Unite’s campaign to ensure workers receive a Living Wage, our members working in Causeway Coasts & Glens Borough Council will challenge councillors over the issue of poverty pay as they enter the town hall for their Council meeting in Coleraine tonight.

“Our members have decided to take this action after the council Chief Executive failed to acknowledge a written request by the Union to become a Living Wage employer. Continue reading

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Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association conference to hear demand for total restoration of training budget

Unite Conference 106Unite Community Practitioners and Health Visitors section will host ‘Diversity in Public Health’ conference at Helicon Centre, Bellaghy tomorrow

June 27th: Kevin McAdam, Unite Regional Officer with responsibility for the Health sector in Northern Ireland will address the ‘Diversity in Public Health 2017’ conference organised by his union’s Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA) tomorrow in Bellaghy.

“Last week, Unite the union strongly challenged a threat to slash funding for training of health visitors and advanced practitioners at Queens University and the Ulster University by £1.8 million.

“Today’s partial reversal announcement of additional funding by the Department of Health, while welcome, does not go far enough. There will still be a half million shortfall in funding for training which will have a serious long-term impact on local healthcare services and will mean staff are likely to face additional pressures to their already heavy workload. Continue reading

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Workers let down as Bruton washes hands of responsibility for English Language Teachers

unite-white-out-of-redUnite slams suggestion that Department has no role in securing workers’ rights

June 22nd: Trade union Unite, which represents English Language Teachers, has reacted angrily to a suggestion by the Department of Education that it has no role in regulating teachers’ working conditions.  The union was responding to a statement issued by the Department to RTE Drivetime yesterday stating that “The relationship between teachers and private providers of education is based on a private contract.  Issues relating to work conditions are a matter between the two parties and do not come under the remit of the Department of Education and Skills”.

Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said:

“The Government has identified English Language Teaching as a growth sector, and Minister Bruton announced last year that they intend growing the number of international students studying in Ireland by 25 per cent over four years.  Following a number of scandals, regulations are quite rightly being brought in to safeguard the interests of students.

“Yet the Minister and the Government apparently regard English Language Teachers as incidental to their plans for growing the sector.  In fact, the Department’s statement yesterday made it clear that they are washing their hands of any responsibility for working conditions in the sector, and this is consistent with the Minister’s refusal to meet us.

“The Department’s statement to Drivetime yesterday, referring to the relationship between teachers and their employers being based on a ‘private contract’ is particularly ironic given that the lack of decent contracts is one of the main issues facing English language teachers:  low-hours contracts are common, and Unite is even aware of cases where workers have not been given any contract.

“Rather than washing his hands of responsibility for the working conditions of English Language Teachers, Minister Bruton should sit down with us and ensure that the interests of teachers as well as students are central to an ELT strategy that works for all”, Roy Hassey concluded.

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Belfast City Council officials discussing possible closure of Loughside leisure centre

052Leaked management plans by outsourced management company, Greenwich Leisure Limited, admits closure would be ‘extremely political’ and recommends exploring ‘opportunities for reduced operational hours’ in the interim.

Plans in discussion also include transfer of Whiterock leisure centre to community groups casting doubts over long-term future of that facility

June 22nd: Unite Regional Officer, Michael Keenan, called on Belfast City Council to bring back all leisure centres into municipal management and defend the future of all facilities across the city.

“Over the past two years Unite has led opposition to plans to cut funding for Belfast leisure services by £2 million annually. We have sought to expose how the austerity budget agreed by the City Council will mean attacks on workers’ pay, corner-cutting on health and safety, service reductions and more limited access to those coming from deprived parts of the city.

“Leaked plans by outsourced management company Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) which are being disclosed by Unite in the public interest show that they are not happy with ‘savings’ from staff cuts, a two-tier workforce and closure of services but are now considering the outright closure of a number of leisure centres across the city. Continue reading

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Announced cuts to advanced nursing training will have drastic long-term impact

Unite Conference 106Training places for health visitor district nursing and advanced practitioners will be halved

Cuts will impact school nurse numbers leaving vulnerable children at risk

June 22nd: Kevin McAdam, Unite Regional Officer with responsibility for the Health sector in Northern Ireland responded to confirmation that funding would be removed from a range of advanced nursing courses in Northern Ireland.

“Unite the union has learned that funding for a range of advanced nursing courses is to be cut by £1.8 million in both Queens University and the Ulster University. This cut will impact not just on the universities but on the delivery of health care. The courses affected include health visiting district nursing and advanced practitioners. Continue reading

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