Austerity


In today’s Irish Times Eamon Gilmore is quoted (front page) as saying the people “sent a very clear message to the Government and indeed the Labour Party”.

Is it not now time to think how trade union activists can send a similar very clear message to the leaderships of those trade unions which are associated with the Labour Party, and especially to those among them who have continually and strongly defended and promoted the Labour Party in this austerity Government?

Public demonstration to protest against threat to Dublin Fire Brigade services Monday7th April 2014, 5 pm. Followed by general meeting at 6.45 pm.

Photo: Public demonstration to protest against threat to Dublin Fire Brigade services Monday7th April @17.00

Monday 10th March: South Dublin County Council SIPTU workers protest against outsourcing and Gateway jobs scheme:

Busworker Special 21-10-13                                                                                       Busworker Special 21-10-13 2

PDF:

Busworker Oct 2013 FINAL

SIPTU President says Budget 2014 requires much renovation
http://www.siptu.ie/media/pressreleases2013/mainnews/fullstory_17661_en.html
Budget 2014 is one that requires much renovation SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor has said. In a review of today’s budget measures he said:
Granted, a €2.5bn budget is better than the €3.1bn originally projected. However, the Government could have got away with taking out a couple of hundred million euro less again while still safely undercutting the 5.1% deficit target for 2014.
The decision to abolish tax relief on pension contributions for very high earners is long overdue. However, in the budget speech last year it was envisaged to yield €250 million in a full year. It is not at all clear from the way that it is being implemented that it will meet this target. The proposed bank levy to yield €150 million is positive as are the other measures to raise revenue from capital and wealth but there is considerably more space to increase the contribution from those who can most afford it. Regrettably, the Fine Gael party’s continued insistence on protecting the rich will mean further unnecessary suffering for low income pensioners and struggling families.
The abolition of top slicing relief in redundancy situations is an utterly regressive measure dressed up as progressive. The proper approach would have been to reduce it by half to a maximum of €100,000. It will aggravate the misery of redundancy for a great many people on quite modest incomes and we are totally opposed to it.
We are bitterly disappointed at the failure to put some mechanism in place to offset the effect of the abolition of the Transitional Pension on 65 year olds retiring from employment. It is estimated that there are only 1,400 people involved per year. They are the only group in this age category who will actually experience a reduction in their income as a result of the change. Even if all of them were to claim in respect of adult dependents, which obviously would not be the case, the total saving will be less than €5m per annum. We will continue to campaign to persuade the Government to change its mind on this measure which is so detrimental to elderly workers who have been paying their tax and Social Insurance contributions all their working lives.
We are strongly opposed to the decision to abolish the pensioners’ telephone allowance completely. This should be means tested so that lower income pensioners would retain it. We welcome the introduction of free GP care for children under five as a tiny first step towards the achievement of a universally free health service. We do not go along with the spin that this is being done at the expense of medical card coverage for low income families. The estimated €37m involved could easily be raised by slightly increasing the tax take from the better-off.
Trade union members will not be too severely affected by the decision to extend the waiting time for social welfare sick pay from 3 days to 6 days because we will be insisting that the employers pay it in all instances. We do acknowledge that the basic rates of social welfare have been maintained throughout the life of this Government. However, a slightly higher tax contribution from the better-off would have obviated the need for many of the other measures.
New claimants under the age of 25 should not have their job seekers allowance reduced unless they had turned down a decent job or good quality training or apprenticeship. The apprenticeship system should be extended to include new occupations such as child minding, care of the elderly and occupations in the hospitality and other sectors.
On a preliminary examination, there seem to be a number of good announcements in relation to capital infrastructure projects which will generate some jobs. However, the really key question is as to how rapidly the €6.6bn which has been finally re-designated from the National Pensions Reserve Fund into the Strategic Investment Fund can be leveraged into the economy to generate thousands of jobs. We in SIPTU have been calling for this since Mayday of 2011. If it had been done then it would have speeded up the recovery and avoided a considerable degree of unnecessary misery and suffering. That being said, it is never too late to do the right thing.”
15th October, 2013

Fraom Paula Geraghty of Trade Union TV:
Hi all,
The Dublin Bus strike is continuing the workers are just as determined as ever not to let the company bulldoze their rights away. Watch the video report from Day 3 here.
Watch and share, we need to counter the right wing propaganda!
Like Trade Union TV on Facebook.
Solidarity,
Paula Geraghty
Trade Union TV
NUJ/IFJ
0876101340
From Paul Geraghty of Trade Union TV:
Yet again transport workers are under attack in Dublin. There’s a long tradition of this but also a long tradition of transport workers fighting back. The workers voice is absent from the ‘debate’ or the proaganda machine against workers and unions.
Let’s join the workers and take a stand by distributing workers media. Watch this video by Trade Union TV of interviews with strikers and pass it on on Facebook and Twitter or what ever way you can.
100 years after 1913 transport workers still bear the brunt of attacks but they are taking a stand- join them and show solidarity!
Solidarity!
Paula Geraghty
NUJ/IFJ
Trade Union TV

0876101340

Another great poster design from Moira Murphy and  1913 Unfinished Business.

Please circulate, print and display.

ub13_dublinbus3

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=f9802a0cc4&view=att&th=1404ebe07b30a064&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-UVwhMRromSzAjgfYI60tg&sadet=1375715178784&sads=03lxG3bjYAOcysToP_s3ePp8k30&sadssc=1

Issued by SIPTU Grassroots, 28th May 2013

[A bit excitable towards the end – DD] 

NO MEANS NO : VOTE NO TO CROKE PARK 3
There is nothing in the latest Croke Park deal for public sector workers. All of us – Gardai, teachers nurses, hospital staff, local authority workers, firemen – will still be robbed by €1 billion, just like the last time. If any group think they gain – it will only be because another group have lost.

EXTRA HOURS
• Everyone’s hours of work are being increased. Those under 35 hours go to 37. Those over 35, go to 39. Management can deploy these extra hours any way they want and can ‘aggregate’ them on a daily, weekly or annual basis. The extra hours at management discretion could be Christmas, new year and bank holiday weekends and every time they want you to cover summer holidays etc. So, really, your boss owns you.

PAY FREEZE UNTIL 2016
• If these proposals go through, workers will not get a pay rise for eight years, from 2008-2016 – even though we have to put up with property taxes, Universal Social Charge, water charges.

NEW ROSTERS TO CUT OUT OVERTIME PAYMENTS
• The increased hours will be used as an excuse for new rosters which will eliminate overtime payments, including Sunday working. Workers will have to co-operate on these changes.

FREE OVERTIME
• Those who work 39 hours will give away an hour’s free overtime a week until March 2014.

CUTS IN INCREMENTS AND OVERTIME RATES
• Those who earn over €35,000 – and that includes allowances – will see their overtime rates cut to time and a quarter. This ‘new norm’ will later be extended to everyone else. Other workers will have to give an extra six days work for free. Increments will also be cut.

MORE RE-DEPLOYMENT BEYOND 45 KILOMETRES AND MANAGEMENT BY STRESS
• There will be more re-deployment because managements will get ‘enhanced flexibility’. The 45 kilometres away norm can also be breached. Workers will also be subject to more individual ‘targets’ and where these are not met, there will be disciplinary measures and ‘exit mechanisms’.

The union leaders, who are pushing a Yes vote are trying to help their friends in the Labour Party. They are letting them tear up the existing agreement that runs to 2014 to take more from workers. They are also collaborating with a government to bring in laws that give the government power to change our hours and wages at the stroke of a pen.

We need to vote No – and drive the Labour Party hacks who dominate our unions out of office. If we vote No a second time, they will have to resign. Once that happens, our unions can democratically decide how to defend ourselves against a government that grabs everything from workers – and gives tax breaks to the rich.

DON’T FALL FOR SCARE TACTICS – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – VOTE NO

Issued by SIPTU Grassroots. Phone 087 2839964 Facebook: SIPTU GRASSROOTS AGAINST CROKE PARK 2


Demonstration against Anti-Trade Union Legislation outside Dail Eireann at 5pm Wednesday 29th May
Bill appended at bottom
Colleagues,

We are holding a demonstration tomorrow, Wednesday 29th May, at 5pm outside Dail Eireann to protest against the draconian Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2013.

There is a Press Conference beforehand in Buswell’s Hotel at 4pm.

I know it’s short notice, but if you can please circulate this notice, and of course, turn up tomorrow, it would be very helpful.

The following text gives some background. See also a copy of the legislation attached. There is a link at the very top of the PDF document to the Explanatory Memorandum on page 16 of the document.

This proposed legislation poses a serious threat to trade union and democratic rights in this country. The bill, if passed, will cut wages and pensions. It also contains a coercive clause which threatens to freeze the increments due to workers in the public sector unless, as outlined in the explanation to the bill, they are covered by a collective agreement that modifies the terms of the incremental suspension and which has been registered with the Labour Relations Commission.

The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2013 is a serious threat to trade union and democratic rights in this country. The bill, if passed, will cut wages and pensions. It also contains a coercive clause which threatens to freeze the increments due to workers in the public sector unless, as outlined in the explanation to the bill, they are covered by a collective agreement that modifies the terms of the incremental suspension and which has been registered with the Labour Relations Commission.

The fundamental right of workers to vote on any proposal on the basis of its merits is being undermined completely. The right of a trade union to defend its members is being obliterated. At present, the government is attempting to intimidate workers into accepting the Haddington Road proposals. The proposed legislation changes the landscape in Ireland. It is an anti-worker, anti-trade union and anti-democratic legislation.

We believe it must be opposed by all trade unions and by everyone that cares for democratic principles. We are, therefore, issuing an open call to all trade union leaders and to all TDs to immediately condemn the proposed legislation. To not do so is to stand against democracy and workers.

Regards,
Kevin Farrell
on behalf of
Martin Marjoram (TUI Branch Chair IT Tallaght)
Michael Carr (TUI Branch Chair Dublin Colleges)
Gregor Kerr (INTO District 14)
Maria Parsons (TUI Branch Chair IADT Dun Laoghaire)
Claus Derenda (TUI Branch Chair IT Carlow)
Gerald Mills (IFUT UCD)
Richard Crowley (TUI Branch Chair Dundalk IT)

Thomas Dooley (TUI Acting Branch Secretary Dundalk IT)
Andrew Phelan (ASTI)

Paddy Healy (TUI Dublin Retired Members Association)
Kevin Farrell (TUI Executive Committee Member, Area 15)
Eddie Conlon (TUI Dublin Colleges)
Niall Smyth (INTO)
Paul Farrell (TUI IT Tallaght)
Ronan Callanan (TUI Dublin City PP)
Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2013 as initiated and Explanatory Memorandum.pdf Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2013 as initiated and

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