JLC follows lengthy campaign by Unite members working in sector
31 January: Unite, which represents English Language Teachers throughout Ireland, has welcomed the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee to set minimum terms and conditions in the sector. The JLC follows a lengthy campaign by Unite members working as English Language Teachers.
Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:
“The English Language Teaching sector generates up to €2 billion annually for the Irish economy in fees and spending. Yet the sector has been characterised by exploitation, with teachers battling low pay and precarious contracts. Prior to the pandemic, there was also a series of snap school closures with both teachers and students left high and dry by rogue operators.
Unite BAEM Committee warns Ireland at crossroads as far right seeks to create division
30 January: The Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Committee of trade union Unite, which represents workers throughout the economy, today (Monday) said that the weekend attack on migrant workers in Ashtown highlights the need for trade unionists to not only show solidarity with migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, but also to campaign for a society characterised by equality and inclusion.
Commenting, the Committee’s Chair, Memet Uludag, said:
“Saturday’s attack on homeless migrant workers in Ashtown is a shocking example of how the hate, fear and misinformation being spread online by far-right actors can and does have real world consequences. Migrant workers left homeless by the housing crisis were set upon by thugs emboldened by months of fear-mongering and lies.
Health and social care workers determined to defend living standards
25 January: Members of Unite, which represents 4,000 health and social care workers across Northern Ireland, will be joining members of other health unions in taking industrial action tomorrow (Thursday 26 January).
The strike is a result of the failure to deliver a cost of living pay increase. Unite members across all five health trusts and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service returned an average 87 per cent vote in favour of strike action.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action and rejected the government’s derisory pay offer, which is a real terms pay cut.
“These strikes are being taken as an absolute last resort. Our members are seeing the NHS eroded before their eyes and patients’ lives are being placed at risk due to chronic underfunding.
“In the absence of a functioning Stormont executive, the responsibility for this strike lies squarely with Rishi Sunak who has failed to show leadership and ensure that NHS bosses made a realistic offer to the workers who keep our health and social care services running”.
Unite the union is engaging with its members & sister unions in Education to agree a robust response to Tory demand for £110 million in education cuts by end of March.
Unite reasonably believe that the cuts are likely to expose the Education Authority to viable legal challenges over rights of children with special educational needs.
Unite the union has vowed to defend education services in the face of a devastating cut to schools budgets being sought by the Tory party. The union is engaging with its members on a platform of robust action in defense of children, jobs and the education service in Northern Ireland. Earlier this financial year, members of Unite working in education took strike action to advance a pay claim for a cost of living pay increase.
The response comes after it emerged that the Education Authority had written to its sponsoring Department [Education], to confirm it was simply not possible to deliver a £110 million in-year reduction to spending for the 2022-2023 tax year.
As industrial action by housing workers enters its twenty-third week without resolution, Unite demands Department for Communities intervention
Thousands of social housing tenants are left without needed repair and maintenance work as a result of management intransigence
Unite the union has written to the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive Grainia Long after its members overwhelmingly rejected a pay offer made by management at the Labour Relations Agency in December. The pay offer was for a one-off non-consolidated payment of one thousand pounds and a pay point increase for grades 1 to 3 which would have benefited only a small fraction of striking workers. The offer was rejected overwhelmingly in a ballot conducted on picket lines on turnout of 93.5 percent and rejection majority of 99.5 percent.
The workers who are employed in North and West Belfast, Portadown, Coleraine and Derry/Londonderry will therefore continue their strike action in pursuit of a fair pay increase for the 2021-2022 year. Their strike is now into its twenty-third week and has led to ballooning impact on maintenance services for social housing units. In the midst of a homeless crisis, there are 193 social housing units in the affected areas lying empty despite having ‘live tickets’ issued for work to change their tenancy. In addition, more than 4,400 repair and maintenance jobs judged to be ‘emergency’ have been left undone and a further 9,600 works deemed routine have not been completed. 246 adaption jobs needed by disabled tenants are also outstanding.