19/08/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Sisters of Charity workers to hold protest in Dublin today

Sisters of Charity workers will highlight their demand for management to meet them and pay them a fair redundancy, in a socially distanced protest outside their former place of work.

The Labour Court has recommended that staff employed by the Sisters of Charity – run independently, but funded by the State – should receive redundancy payments equivalent to those paid to health workers in the public service. 

11/08/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Union representatives to meet KPMG liquidators to discuss a fair redundancy package for St Monica’s workers

Union representatives have tonight (Tuesday, 11th August) confirmed that representatives from SIPTU, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and Fórsa Trade Union representatives will meet with KPMG, the provisional liquidator of the St. Monica’s Nursing Home tomorrow (Wednesday, 12th August) in Dublin.

SIPTU Health Organiser, Brian Condra, said: “It not acceptable that instead of engaging with union representatives, accepting an invitation to a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) conciliation conference, that the Sisters of Charity would rather walk away from their responsibilities, not pay our members a fair redundancy package and simply send in the liquidators. This is no way to treat staff who have provided years of outstanding service for residents, their families and our communities. Even now at the eleventh hour, we would call on the Sisters of Charity to do the right thing and meet with their staff as a matter of urgency.”

INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, Lorraine Monaghan, said: “The Sisters of Charity are sitting on substantial assets and have the means to pay a fair redundancy package to the loyal, committed staff in the St. Monica’s Nursing Home. We are calling on them to immediately engage with the unions and agree to release the necessary funds to ensure all staff receive a redundancy payment that the Labour Court has deemed fair and reasonable for this type of service.”

Fórsa Assistant General Secretary, Seán McElhinney, said: “The residents of St Monica’s and their families have been quick to express support for the workforce, while the Sisters of Charity have remained silent. It might seem to some that the Sisters are hiding behind the bureaucracy of the liquidation, and having scant regard for the livelihoods that are being lost.”

He added: “The residents, and their families, have seen, first hand, the care and compassion with which the workers of St Monica’s have discharged their duties for years. For those same workers to now be treated with such profound dispassion will be a great shame to the Sisters of Charity, if they decline to come forward and engage with the Unions.”

10/08/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Union representatives demand emergency meeting with Sisters of Charity management

SIPTU, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and Fórsa Trade Union representatives have today (Monday 10th August) written to Sisters of Charity management seeking an emergency meeting to discuss the payment of a fair redundancy package to staff in Caritas Convalescent Centre, St. Mary’s Centre Telford and St. Monica’s Nursing Home. 

The call comes following second day of lunchtime protest outside St. Monica’s Nursing Home in Dublin today.

SIPTU Health Organiser, Brian Condra, said: “The loyal, dedicated staff in all three facilities owned by the Sisters of Charity, have provided years of outstanding service and have always put the patients first.  In recent months, they faced the pandemic head on and continued to provide an optimum service to ensure patients were cared for, supported and made feel safe and secure at all times. 

He added: “The Sisters of Charity must to do the right thing, considering the position our members now find themselves in, their years of dedicated service, precedent set in this area on redundancy payments and the most recent Labour Court Recommendation.

INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, Lorraine Monaghan said: “The staff are devastated that they are now losing their jobs at a time of great uncertainty and are parting with their patients and colleagues. They are disappointed that the Sisters of Charity have not yet confirmed that they will play their part and put forward the necessary funds to ensure that staff receive the redundancy package that the Labour Court deems fair and reasonable.”

She added: “Union representatives are calling on the Sisters of Charity, to ensure the necessary funds will be released immediately to implement this recommendation in Caritas Convalescent Centre and that the Labour Court Recommendation will be applied in St. Mary’s Telford and St. Monica’s Nursing Home as the circumstances are the same in all three facilities.”

Fórsa Assistant General Secretary, Seán McElhinney, said: “Workers in all three facilities have provided the highest quality of care to their residents. While families and residents have expressed profound regret for the plight of the workforce, the Sisters of Charity have remained silent.

He added: “Worry and uncertainty are rife among the workforce. The Sisters of Charity can, and must, make it known that they intend to fund the recommendation of the Labour Court. The silence cannot continue.”

31/07/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

SIPTU members express anger and hurt at “lazy” comments by Marc MacSharry TD

SIPTU members have reacted with anger, disappointment and hurt at the comments made by Fianna Fáil TD, Marc MacSharry who has accused public servants of laziness during the Covid-19 crisis.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Public Service, John King, said: “Earlier this week, SIPTU representatives took the view that Deputy MacSharry’s theatrical attempt to grab cheap media headlines was not worthy of a response. However, given the volume of emails, phone calls and messages from members over the last 24 hours since the deputy repeated his outrageous comments we believe we must give public expression to the level of anger, disappointment and hurt felt by public service workers working across the country.

“Deputy MacSharry’s comments clearly demonstrate a fundamental lack of appreciation and understanding of the efforts made by hundreds of thousands of public servants who have worked around the clock to stop the spread of the coronavirus from day one of the outbreak. SIPTU members in the public service are not only on the frontline of our hospitals and emergency services but have kept essential community services going throughout the crisis, are playing a pivotal role in contact tracing and testing, are volunteering to deliver essential goods to our most vulnerable and are processing record numbers of social protection payments.

“The reality is that these essential public services are provided by hard working and diligent workers including SIPTU members in the deputy’s own constituency in the Institute of Technology Sligo, in Sligo and Leitrim county councils, in Sligo University Hospital and the HSE National Recruitment Service in Leitrim and other employments.”

He added: “Our members are demanding Deputy MacSharry listens to the advice of his parliamentary colleagues in Fianna Fáil and other parties, withdraws his comments, apologises and puts an end to this kind of misleading rhetoric that only serves to divide public and private sector workers at a time when the economic recovery of the country requires unity and solidarity.”

26/07/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Sunday Read: We need a Progressive Fiscal Strategy

Over time the questions will get louder: ‘How do we reduce the deficit? How will we repay all these bills?’ Some will claim there is no alternative to spending cuts and tax increases; that is, austerity.

There is, however, a better response summed up in one word:  growth. It is economic growth that will reduce the deficit and ‘repay the bills’. The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council shows as much – that most of the deficit will be wiped out by 2025 without any policy change.

We can’t, however, rely on growth alone. We need extra resources for investment (housing, climate justice, public transport), public services such as health and education; and enhanced in-work benefits such as illness benefit and family supports. Where will we get these resources from?

Let’s not think that deficits and debt are something only Finance Ministers can fix. Restructuring the workplace can also play a role. Among other high-income EU countries, Ireland has low wages, the smallest proportion of national income.

Driving up wages, especially for low and average income earners, obviously benefits workers. It benefits the economy through more spending. It benefits the public finances because it drives up tax revenue and reduces subsidies to low-wage employers. And the best way to drive up wages is by expanding collective bargaining rights. Give workers the tools to achieve wage justice in the workplace and watch the economy grow and public finances stabilise.

Investment is another way to reduce the deficit and debt. Investment is not a cost. It is a down-payment today to achieve higher revenue growth in the future.  Investments in affordable housing and childcare, public transport and retrofitting, education and Just Transition – these will put people to work today and grow the economy in the long term.

We will also need to look at our tax system. We are a low-taxed economy. But not in workers’ personal taxation and spending taxes (VAT, excise). We lag behind other European countries in employers’ PRSI and capital taxes.

We will need to increase these over time to ensure we have the resources to invest in social prosperity.

SIPTU will be addressing economic and social issues in the weeks and months ahead. We intend to set the agenda, not follow it; and give leadership on the innovative and democratic policies that are necessary to vindicate our members and all workers.

24/07/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

SIPTU seeks urgent talks with management of St Marys nursing home

SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 24th July) called for an urgent meeting with the management of St Marys, Telford in south Dublin. The call comes following a meeting between management and a liquidator.

SIPTU Health Organiser, Brian Condra said: “The news that management has met with liquidators has shocked and disappointed our members. SIPTU members in St. Mary’s Telford have a longstanding and proud tradition of providing exemplary care for vulnerable residents and patients in the facility.

“Our members had an agreement with management that the closure of this facility would not happen until at least December 2020 and that negotiations to minimise actual job losses through possible redeployment measures would take place.

“Despite ongoing negotiations, management met with the liquidators today. We believe this action is premature and it has caused confusion and deep hurt among the staff, residents and their families.”

He added: “SIPTU representatives have written to the management seeking an urgent meeting with them and the liquidator, to find out why these essential negotiations to secure proper protections for members and to preserve this vital service for the community, have been suddenly shelved.”

20/07/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

SIPTU to discuss Covid-19 infection rates among healthcare workers at Oireachtas Committee

SIPTU representatives will attend the Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee tomorrow (Tuesday, 21st July) to discuss coronavirus infection rates among healthcare workers.

It is expected that SIPTU representatives will outline several contributing factors, including a study of the latest data on healthcare worker infection rates and the key findings identified.

The union is also expected to make recommendations to the Committee including maintaining essential testing and contact tracing capacity in preparation for any potential second wave and an extensive review on the experience of workers seeking access to essential PPE and training during the early days of the crisis.

Download copy of the Union’s submission here

19/07/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Sunday Video: SIPTU members on the #Covid19 frontline

Essential workers stood by us during our time of crisis. Now it’s time that we stand up for them.

01/07/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Have your say. Take our PPE Survey.

Health workers are all essential frontline workers.

We want to hear about your experience during the Covid-19 crisis, any concerns you may have in the workplace and what we can do together to shape a fairer future for all health workers and communities in Ireland.

Take our survey here!






22/06/2020 Comments are off SIPTU Health

SIPTU representatives to tell Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee of flawed government approach to childcare

SIPTU representatives will meet the Special Oireachtas Committee on Covid-19 Response tomorrow (Tuesday, 23rd June) on the issue of childcare for essential health workers.

SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “SIPTU representatives will highlight several first-hand accounts of the difficulties encountered by essential, frontline health workers in securing childcare arrangements since the outbreak of Covid-19.”

“Our members in the health service were genuinely striving to strike a balance where they could ensure their children were cared for while also fulfilling their duties on the frontline of the health service. This balance could have been achieved with a focus on greater flexibility including roster change and special leave where other options had been exhausted. Another way forward could have been for the provision of childcare in a safe environment explicitly for healthcare workers. This model was used in other countries to ensure essential healthcare workers could get to work, safe in the knowledge their children were being cared for. Instead, the focus was on uniformity, with rigid options only being approved by Government.”

He added: “Ultimately, this seriously flawed and inflexible approach resulted in the depletion of essential healthcare workers from the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 and a financial loss for many of them. We believe these flaws must be addressed and remedied as a matter of priority in advance of any potential second wave.”