Union organises 70% of workers in youth charity
Extern ‘forum’ designed avoid union recognition
July 30th: Unite has today accused leading youth charity Extern – which receives state funding from the HSE and TUSLA among others – of discriminating against employees in the Republic. The claim follows the repeated refusal by the Northern Ireland-based charity to recognise Unite, which represents 70% of Extern’s employees in the Republic of Ireland, or attend mediation at the Workplace Relations Commission. Instead, the charity is attempting to establish a so-called ‘consultative forum’ in what Unite views as an attempt to avoid negotiating with employees through the union of their choice.
Extern works with young people at risk, and in the words of its mission statement strives for an inclusive and fair society.
Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey pointed out that Extern recognises NIPSA in Northern Ireland and that their refusal to negotiate collectively with employees in the Republic amounts to blatant discrimination:
“Unite is disappointed that an organisation as respected as Extern, which provides crucial services to thousands of young people, should refuse to engage collectively with the very workers on which its reputation is built. This is in marked contrast to their behaviour in Northern Ireland, where Extern is based and where they recognise NIPSA.
“In the Republic, after twice refusing to attend mediation with Unite at the Workplace Relations Commission, Extern is attempting to set up a so-called ‘consultative forum’ in a move which Unite regards as a transparent attempt to avoid engaging collectively with their employees from the union of their choice.
“Extern claims to be striving for an inclusive and fair society, but they need to start with their workers.
“Unite represents around 70% of Extern employees in the Republic, and we will continue working to secure the same collective negotiating rights with Extern in the Republic that the organisation’s employees enjoy in Northern Ireland – including, if necessary, through referral to the Labour Court”, Roy Hassey concluded.