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02/02/2020 Comments are off Patrick Cole

Members views crucial to decision on union campaign priorities

The views of SIPTU members expressed through surveys and at delegate conferences will be the crucial factor in deciding campaigning priorities for the union, the National Executive Council has decided.

In a recent survey pay, stress at work and having enough to live on in retirement emerged as the top three priorities for union members in the workplace.

Two of these issues are now the focus of SIPTU campaigns – for pay increases across the private sector and to STOP67, which is aimed at halting increases in the pension age.

The views of the membership expressed at Divisional and Biennial Delegate conferences are also a key indicator of members’ concerns. The proposal to raise the pension age to 67 in 2020 was brought up in numerous motions at recent conferences and led to the launch of the STOP67 campaign.

The extensive survey of more than 3,000 SIPTU members was conducted between September and October 2019.

This survey found that issues surrounding the housing crisis, the increasing cost of living and healthcare were the top three priorities for respondents, who were drawn from SIPTU members across the country.

More than 80% of respondents placed problems with buying a home, high rents and homelessness, all aspects of the housing crisis, among their top three priorities.

The next two priorities were the rising cost of living and healthcare.

Approximately two thirds of respondents highlighted living costs and over 50% focused on the problems in the healthcare system. Other issues of importance to members included access to public transport, childcare and having a real say in society.

SIPTU Deputy General secretary, Ethel Buckley, said: “The National Executive Council decision to prioritise as campaigns action on issues which emerge through consultation processes and the democratic structures of the union ensures that the members maintain their rightful place as the real leaders of our organisation.”

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