Department of Education review on school bus transport threatens child safety, parental choice and low-income households

230217JP1UNITE022Unite launches online petition challenging ‘sham consultation’ that fails to consider alternative options including increased funding for education services

December 17th: Unite Regional Officer, Gareth Scott, announced the launch of his union’s online petition opposing the current ‘Review of Home to School Transport’ consultation by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland.

“The consultation on school bus transport launched by the Department represents a serious threat to the right of children to an education. This sham exercise demands parents choose between charges for school transport, an increase in the distance for free school transport eligibility or restricting free transport to the closest school as opposed to the one in which the child is enrolled. Continue reading

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Unite to launch ‘Give us the goss on your boss’ survey of hospitality sector workers

neil-moore.jpgHospitality workers will be conducting survey by means street stalls, canvassing workplaces and online website

Union hopes that survey will ‘lift the lid’ on rampant sexual harassment and youth work exploitation

December 10th: Unite the union hospitality organiser Neil Moore, himself a bar worker, commented on the prevalence of sexual harassment in hotels, bars and restaurants in the region.

“Workers in hospitality are often at a total disadvantage when standing up for their basic rights. They often work under precarious contracts which mean that they have few guarantees or protections if they raise objections. A worker who is on a zero-hours contract finds it hard to stand-up for themselves to a boss who can decide – and often does – to punish them by withholding hours. Continue reading

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Grafton College closure: Teachers occupy premises, ask to speak to Minister

unite-white-out-of-redOccupation follows snap closure leaving teachers owed month’s wages

Unite expresses support for workers’ decision

Trade union Unite, which represents English Language Teachers, this evening (Monday 3 December) expressed support and understanding for the decision by teachers employed by Grafton College to occupy the college’s premises following snap closure of the business last Friday leaving teachers owed a month’s wages.  Unite represents a majority of the teachers involved.

This evening the teachers occupied the Portobello premises demanding that Education and Skills Minister Joe McHugh visit the college and speak to the teachers.  They are also demanding that the Qualification and Quality Assurance bill designed to regulate the sector, which is currently making its way through the Oireachtas, be fast-tracked and amended to include minimum standards of employment for teachers, and that the owner of the college, Saeed Rehman, engage with them regarding the monies owed.

Expressing support for the teachers and sympathy with the anger and frustration which resulted in the occupation, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne this evening pointed out that Grafton College is just one in a series of colleges which have closed overnight leaving both teachers and students high and dry.

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Belfast City Council motion on sexual harassment is welcome but must be followed up with action to secure zero tolerance approach

Living Wage meetUnite launches its ‘Give us the goss on your boss’ survey of Northern Ireland hospitality workers

December 3rd: Speaking ahead of this evening’s vote on a Belfast City Council motion dealing with the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, Unite hospitality organiser, Neil Moore said.

“Sexual harassment is a huge issue for young workers, especially female workers, in precarious employment contracts in the hospitality sector. Unite is today launching our ‘Give us the goss on your boss’ survey to collect detailed information on sexual harassment and other workplace abuses throughout the sector.  Continue reading

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Grafton College: Unite English Language Teachers to hold protest this evening

unite white out of redTeachers owed a month’s pay following sudden closure

Case highlights need to fast-track legislation to protect teachers and students

December 3rd: Members and supporters of Unite’s English Language Teacher branch will be holding a protest outside Grafton College (Harbour House, Richmond Row,  Portobello, Dublin 8) at 5.30 pm this evening in solidarity with teachers who have been left without wages following the sudden closure of the school.

Unite represents a number of the teachers, who were not paid on Friday and are now owed a month’s wages, while students have been left stranded after paying fees of around €2000.

Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said today that the Grafton College case reinforces the need for legislation to protect the interests of both teachers and students in the highly-profitable English Language Sector, and he pointed out thatUnite has advocated a number of amendments to the forthcoming Qualification and Quality Assurance Bill designed to ensure compliance with minimum labour standards:

Continue reading

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