Bus Éireann: Unite members set to return to work following Labour Court recommendation

unite-white-out-of-redManagement and government responsible for financial crisis highlighted in recommendation

Focus now must be on charting sustainable route for public transport

April 13th: Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, confirmed this afternoon that its members – who have been on strike for 21 days – are set to return to work following the Labour Court’s issuing of a recommendation. Noting that management must take responsibility for the financial crisis at the company highlighted by the Labour Court, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said that the focus now must be on charting what he termed a ‘sustainable route forward’ for Ireland’s public transport system, including Bus Éireann.

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Antrim & Newtownabbey Council proposals to outsource waste collection completely unacceptable

unite-white-out-of-redGeneral waste bin collection in Newtownabbey, and compostable bin collection in Antrim, under threat of transfer to private operators

Fears that other council services including litter collection and leisure services may follow suit

April 11th: Following a meeting with management, Unite Regional Officer, Michael Keenan, has indicated his union’s outright opposition to proposals by Antrim & Newtownabbey council management plans to outsource waste collection to a private company.

“Unite met with Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council management to hear their proposals for waste collection services in both legacy council areas. Unfortunately, they appear intent on the outright transfer of waste bin collection to private sector operators.

“In the former Newtownabbey council area the black bin (general waste) collection is to be outsourced, while in Antrim, for the first time, brown bins (compostable waste) are to be passed over to the private sector. Continue reading

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MABS: Varadkar must return to drawing board after Government defeat

unite-white-out-of-redUnite members ‘baffled’ by moves to scrap winning formula

Imperative that any change be driven by MABS users and workers

April 10th: Unite members working for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) have called on Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar to scrap the proposed ‘restructuring’ of the debt advisory service.  The call follows the Government’s recent defeat on an FF motion to halt plans to break up the local MABS and Citizens Information service companies and replace them with eight regional boards.

Unite represents a majority of staff working for MABS and, at a meeting in Dublin, union representatives said that any change must be driven by users and workers.

Speaking after the meeting, Unite Regional Officer Ed Thompson said:

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Bus Éireann: Unite accepts WRC invitation but says pickets will remain

unite-white-out-of-redApril 4th: Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, has welcomed the invitation to talks issued by the WRC and said it will be attending the talks in an effort to find a resolution to the twelve-day-old dispute, although pickets will remain in place. However, Regional Officer Willie Quigley cautioned against “kicking the can down the road”, and reiterated Unite’s call for Minister Shane Ross to convene a forum of all stakeholders in order to chart a sustainable way forward for Ireland’s public transport system.

Commenting, Mr Quigley said:

“Unite welcomes the invitation extended by the WRC today, and I can confirm that we will be attending the talks. Our members are as anxious to find a resolution to this dispute as the travelling public.

“I would, however, caution that a resolution of this immediate dispute – if it can be found – will not solve the problems facing Ireland’s public transport system, which have their roots in public policy choices and will ultimately require a political solution. The time has come to stop kicking the can down the road, and for the Minister to convene a forum of all stakeholders to chart a sustainable way forward for public transport – in the interests of those who use the service, and the workers who deliver it”, Mr Quigley concluded.

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English Language Teaching booming on backs of workers

unite-white-out-of-redAs sector grows by 11%, Unite highlights low pay, unpaid hours and precarious work

Bruton must focus on quality of jobs as well as quantity of students

April 4th: Unite, which organises English Language Teachers, today  highlighted poor working conditions in the sector and called on Minister Richard Bruton to focus on “the quality of jobs as well as the quantity of students”.

Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said:

“Last October Education and Skills Minister Richard Bruton announced that the Government intended growing the number of international students studying in Ireland by 25 per cent over four years, and recent figures published by Marketing English in Ireland showed that the sector grew by 11 per cent in 2016.

“But although the numbers are impressive, the fact is that English Language Teaching is booming on the backs of workers.

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