A Progressive Alternative to USC

SIPTU has launched a proposal for “A Progressive Alternative to the Universal Social Charge” (USC).

It recommends that a new Social Solidarity Contribution, which would retain all the progressive elements of the existing USC charge as a highly effective and efficient mechanism for raising much-needed revenue from the wealthy and those on top incomes in Irish society, should be introduced.

Download full document here

See full press release here

Video of SIPTU President Jack O’Connor launching SSC here

SIPTU expresses concern over use of new postcode system by ambulance professionals

SIPTU has urged the management of the National Ambulance Service and the Health Service Executive (HSE) not to introduce the use of the Eircode system for ambulance professionals until the new postcodes have proved to be fit for purpose.

 

SIPTU Health Division Organiser Paul Bell said: “We have been contacted by many of our members who have expressed major concerns at the rollout of Eircode. Our members have stated that they will use any system as long at they can be assured that the system is fit for purpose and has the confidence of the general public.

“Despite claims that ambulance professionals should use satellite navigation systems to get to the scene of an emergency that approach has been deemed to be unreliable in the UK. In some cases its use has resulted in tragic circumstances that could have been avoided.”

He added: “Currently, there are two command and control rooms which direct ambulance personnel to the scene of an accident anywhere in the country. That is the most effective way of dealing with an accident or emergency. Addresses are based on a directory supplied by An Post, which has the most up-to-date database. I would expect that to continue until our members’ concerns are dealt with.”

 “Our members expect the managers of the National Ambulance Service and HSE to only introduce the Eircode system when it has been fully proven to be fit for purpose. We believe that this can only be after the system has proven itself to  be accurate and workable when used by other sectors prior to its introduction for use by ambulance professionals responding to emergency calls. Our members can only work with a system that they, and the general public have confidence in.”  

For video please click here

Listen to Paul discuss Eircode

 

The Lansdowne Road Proposals – Ballot Update

We are now half way through our national ballot on the Lansdowne Road Proposals.Turnout so far has been brisk and engagement with members encouraging.

Over the last number of weeks the SIPTU Health Division has held information meetings with members around the country. At these meetings any questions from members and shop stewards were answered.

View SIPTU shop stewards discussing the Landsdowne Road Proposals here

At members request we have complied a frequently asked questions document.

Members should understand that it is very important to secure a YES vote in order to begin the journey towards pay restoration and to make our members more secure in their employment.

Speaking to SIPTUhealth.ie Divisional Organiser Paul Bell said: “I am asking all members that have not yet cast their ballot to please contact their local organiser to find out when their next ballot is taking place and to use their vote.”

Alternatively, an office ballot will take place on the 4th floor, Health Division Office, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1 on the following dates:

Friday, 10th July 2015 – 10.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m

Friday, 17th July 2015 – 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m

To download a poster outlining the reasons why SIPTU members should vote yes to the Lansdowne Road Proposals click here

If you would like a postal vote please click here

Liberty Hall Office Ballot

For any SIPTU member unable to cast their ballot on the Lansdowne Road Proposals in their workplace SIPTU has organised an office ballot to take place in the Health Division office, Liberty Hall on the following dates:

  • Friday 10th July between 10am – 1pm
  • Friday 17th July between 2pm – 5pm

Download a poster for the workplace here

View shop stewards discuss the Lansdowne Road proposals here

 

SIPTU Education and Development Support Scheme 2015/2016 (Scholarships)

Applications for the SIPTU Education and Development Support Scheme (scholarship) are now open.

SIPTU Health Sector Organiser Kevin Figgis said applications are now being invited from interested members in respect of the academic year 2015/2016 and a continuous advertisement will appear in Liberty until the closing date on 30th September.

Speaking to SIPTUhealth.ie Mr Bell said: “The scheme has been very popular with members over the years, but bear in mind that applicants must be in membership for one year on the closing date for receipt of applications. Please note that each application form completed by a member in your area/region/sector should be forwarded for the attention of Kevin Figgis to the Health Division, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1 to be signed by my office.

Following same, the completed form will be forwarded by our office to SIPTU College for processing.”

Download the application form here

 

SIPTU calls on the Irish Government to act in solidarity with Greek people and its democratically elected leaders

SIPTU, Ireland’s largest trade union, has welcomed the decisive rejection of the one sided austerity agenda by the Greek people in today’s referendum. The union has also called on the Irish government to act in solidarity with the beleagured people of that country, our fellow citizens in the EU, by exercising every scintilla of influence at its disposal to help bring about an agreement at European level on terms they can accept.

SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, said: “The result clearly demonstrates that the brutal one sided austerity recipe which has been imposed on the Greek people over the last five years has achieved nothing other than to drive a majority of them beyond the point where they believe they have nothing left to loose. The situation is all the more absurd since last Thursday’s declaration by one of the main perpetrators, the IMF, that the latest proposals could not work in the absence of an immediate €60 billion in debt relief.

“We have now reached the decisive moment in the history of the future of everyone in Europe. There is no room for petty politics now. We call on our Government to focus exclusively on finding a solution which preserves the solidarity of Europe. It must exercise every scintilla of influence at its disposal to help bring about an agreement on terms that afford the people of Greece room to breathe again.

“On the face of it, the final offer from Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, which arrived before the Finance Ministers decided on Wednesday 1st July to await the outcome of the referendum, could provide the basis of an interim plan to save Greece and maybe what remains of the European project as well.”

SIPTU members had warned of deficiencies in Kilkenny care unit

SIPTU members working in the Our Lady’s Unit in the Saint Patrick’s Centre, County Kilkenny, had highlighted deficiencies in its operation to the management of the facility prior to it being de-registered and taken under the control of Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) today (Monday, 29th June).

SIPTU Organiser, Dave Morris, said: “Our members who work in the unit, which provides high intensity care to persons with intellectual disabilities, had previously highlighted to management their concerns over staffing levels and other issues.

“They would like to take the opportunity to stress to the families of clients that the defects in the operation of the unit that have led to its de-registration do not concern the standard of professional care offered by staff. Rather, they relate to non-adherence to fire regulations and insufficient staffing levels.”

He added: “SIPTU members who work in the unit have greeted the take-over of its management by HIQA with an acceptance that action had to be taken to improve aspects of its operation.

“Following its take-over of the management of the unit, HIQA immediately drafted in additional staff. It is hoped that a commitment to provide additional funds for the unit will result in renovations that will resolve the other deficiencies.

“SIPTU members of staff look forward to working with HIQA in resolving all the outstanding issues in a speedy and effective manner.”

Members Update: Lansdowne Road Proposals

The balloting of SIPTU Health members on the Lansdowne Road proposals is underway and information meetings are taking place around the country.

Speaking to SIPTUhealth.ie Divisional Organiser Paul Bell said: “After consulting our members we took the decision to host information meetings around the country to help our Shop Stewards campaign for a YES vote on the Lansdowne Road proposals. We also did this to ensure every member uses their vote before the July 22nd,

It is very important that our members have the opportunity to fully inform themselves about the agreement before they cast their vote.”

So far, we have taken the conversation to Tipperary, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick and Donegal. Our Shop Stewards have been very constructive and engaged throughout our Better Health Care, Better Jobs campaign and they have taken that commitment, passion and enthusiasm to our meetings.

What is very clear is our members know the proposals another step in the journey to recover what was taken from them during the economic crisis.That is the message our members are carrying loud and clear into workplaces across the country and that the recruitment of non-union members of the health service into the union is very important for any future negotiations.

SIPTU Shop Steward, Jane Reynolds told SIPTUhealth.ie she is hopeful the proposals will be well received by members she represents in her workplace.

“My view is this is a stepping stone towards better pay restoration. Our short term goal must be to get this modest increase back into the pockets of our members over the next two years.

Our SIPTU representatives can then go back to the negotiation table and hopefully get another increase in take home pay for members in the health service.”

SIPTU Health will be hosting meetings in Sligo, Tralee, Wexford next week.