Programme for Disability Webinar 9 December 2021 December 08, 2021

The Annual Congress Disability Webinar will focus on workplace issues for people with disabilities and look at the policy context and the government support framework for disabled workers and employers across the island.    See this link for the PDF publication.

The WFTU on the International Day Of Persons with Disabilities, December 3rd 2021

Today more than one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability, while 80 percent of them live in developing countries. We can all understand how difficult life for those persons and their families is, since in most cases they cannot find a job, or in heavy cases they cannot even take care of themselves. In developing countries, 80% to 90% of persons with disabilities of working age are unemployed, whereas in industrialized countries the figure is between 50% and 70%. Also, globally, a large percentage of those persons are disabled because of […]

Rush to introduce face masks in schools is counterproductive

Fórsa said today that it supports the use of face masks in schools, but said the Government’s rush to implement the practice will make it difficult to achieve. The union added that its school-based members – special needs assistants (SNAs), school secretaries, and caretakers – should not be asked to exclude students for refusing to wear a mask, as this is the responsibility of school principals and senior teachers. Fórsa’s head of education, Andy Pike, also welcomed the fact that education department guidelines exempt children with special educational needs from the requirement to wear masks if it would cause difficulties […]

Climate Change March in Dublin 6th March

Trade Union Activists from across Dublin marched on Saturday last to vent their frustration at the lack of progress by the Dublin Government on Climate change. Speakers It particular, they argued that climate change has not been caused by us as individual humans. Instead they prove that a global system in place since the onset of the industrial revolution, has always placed profit in a marketplace above the needs of those who create the wealth, leading inevitably to climate catastrophe. Something highlighted by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels over one hundred and fifty years ago. For a critical look at […]

International struggle: The WFTU supports the U.S. workers’ struggles

Sweeping across the United States, a dramatic increase in rank and file Labor struggles, including several high profile economic strikes in various sectors, has charged U.S. class tensions to a degree not seen in many decades. 12,000 carpenters, 10,000 John Deere heavy farm equipment manufacturers, 31,000 Kaiser health care workers, 60,000 Hollywood TV, theater and film production workers, 1,100 Alabama coal miners and 1,400 Kellogg cereal factory workers are among tens of thousands of workers involved this year in strikes against 178 employers, including 12 strikes of 1,000 or more workers for better wages and working conditions. This is against […]

Waiting list plan must include integrated care Forsa

Fórsa has said the HSE’s new acute waiting list action plan, published last week, must focus on the community-led, integrated care plan central to Sláintecare or face failure. The plan aims to reduce projected acute waiting lists by 150,000. The union has welcomed the initiative, which identifies a number of actions designed to reduce a projected spike in waiting lists toward the end of this year. But it warned that failure to utilise the integrated care model, where service users can access initial treatment in a community setting, will prolong reliance on acute hospitals and drive up waiting lists. The Sláintecare […]

SIPTU warns that raising pension age from 2028 will make it an issue at next election

SIPTU General Secretary, Joe Cunningham, has said that the report of the Pensions Commission has vindicated the union’s campaign against the increase in the state pension age to 67 years from 1st January, 2021. However, he said that if the Government attempts to legislate for the recommendation by the Commission to increase the state pension age from 2028, it will only ensure that the issue will continue to be a subject of public concern and controversy, in advance of the next election. “We may not have prevented the increase in the pension age but the campaign by SIPTU and the […]

Fire staff shortages referred to safety authority

Fórsa has raised concerns about ongoing staff shortages in Dublin fire brigade with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). This came after Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) talks aimed at alleviating staffing problems collapsed last Monday (27th September). The union highlighted a serious shortage of fire brigade staff – estimated to be 20% – in the WRC talks. It said this was placing both the public and firefighters at risk. The union presented its concerns to the Health and Safety Authority yesterday, and highlight the unsafe conditions associated with staff shortages in the emergency service. Dessie Robinson, who heads Fórsa’s two local […]

Unions call on Taoiseach to save local employment services

Today’s demonstration starts at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin’s Upper Merrion Street at 12 noon and finishes at 1.30pm. Fórsa and SIPTU members, working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs are set to demand an immediate intervention from Taoiseach Michael Martin today (Monday) at a protest outside the Department of the Taoiseach. Unions say the protest will highlight the threat to the livelihoods of their members and the vital services they provide to the community from the imminent threat of privatisation. The unions have said a Government-imposed tendering process favours for-profit providers over the current community-focussed, not-for-profit service. […]

School secretaries to strike after Government let-down

Ireland’s school secretaries are to stage a one-day strike on Wednesday 15th September, and will gather in the capital for a national rally on the same day. Their union Fórsa said pickets would be placed on the Dublin headquarters of the Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), which stand accused of blocking implementation of a Government commitment to standardise pay and conditions of school secretaries. Most of them earn just €12,500 a year, with irregular short-term contracts that force them to sign on during the summer holidays and other school breaks. Almost a year ago, the […]