Tag Archives: SIPTU

This afternoon.

Further to the proposed discontinuation of Bus Eireann routes from Dublin to Cork, Limerick and Galway….

“The blame for this lies squarely with the National Transport Authority (NTA) which has, over the years, flooded the market with privately held operating licenses and strangled the national carrier.

Bus Eireann, unlike other operators, has continued to supply much needed services during the current Covid-19 crisis and the NTA needs to recognise this and provide funding so that these services continue to provide safe and accessible transport for all its passengers.

The threat to some of the most strategic bus transport routes in the country is short sighted, flawed and a kick in the teeth for workers and passengers.”

SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Murphy,

SIPTU condemns decision to discontinue vital Bus Eireann Expressway routes (Medium)


Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry

“I want to draw an analogy between the Minister’s Department and other Departments and employees of the State for whom, frankly, Covid-19 has been great cover for doing nothing.

I had dealings with one State agency lately, where no one will be back in that office until the end of August. They are working from home and it is necessary to talk to an answering machine.

Most people have been allowed to return to work, particularly in the private sector. The staff in my office did not stop for an hour since the onset of Covid-19.

We respected the lockdown, but worked from our office and dealt with people on phones etc..

Many elements of our State agencies, Departments and local authorities, however, are using this situation as cover to lie on the couch and watch box sets, returning an odd call here and there and doing the maximum of the minimum to tick over during this period.

Productivity has fallen and that is unacceptable. Many in the private sector are back again at full tilt. I know the Minister has worked at full tilt throughout this time, I know I have, as have many colleagues, probably all, in the political world. Many people are not, however, and that needs to be addressed.

Whether it is opportunism, coming from the labour relations side, laziness and-or poor management, it needs to be addressed because the country needs all its officials working at full tilt to get productivity levels up to the maximum so we get through this crisis in the best possible way.”

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry speaking  in the Dáil on the Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020 on Tuesday.



Deputy General Secretary for the Public Sector John King

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.

….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.”

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



Billboard from SIPTU’s ‘Stop 67’ campaign

This morning.

SIPTU’s Deputy General Secretary Ethel Buckley spoke to RTÉ Radio One’s Seán O’Rourke about the union’s “Stop 67” campaign to stop plans to raise Ireland’s State pension age to 67 from January 1, 2021.

Ms Buckley said the campaign has been running for “a number of months” but today’s launch of the campaign is being carried out in conjunction with other groups such as the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Age Action and Active Retirement.

From the interview…

Ethel Buckley: “Our priority is to ensure that the legislation is changed so that they do not proceed with 67 on New Year’s Day [2021] and we have not heard yet, from Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil that they will repeal the legislation.

“So our campaign will continue, in fact it will ramp up to get those commitments from those parties.

“And the first priority of the next administration, however that will be made up, is to repeal the legislation and then to engage in a negotiation, a real negotiation, on the issues presented by State pension age in the long term.

“The progressive parties have said that they will legislate to remove the 67 increase, with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have not yet.”

Seán O’Rourke: “Well, effectively, have they not done the same thing by saying they will have a transition payment, equivalent to the pension?”

“No, I have not heard them saying that it is equivalent to what people would receive on the State pension. What I have heard them say is they will continue the transitional arrangement that was there.

“And that represents a gap of €45 in the income of a single person and €76 for a couple between the transition payment and what you would get on a State pension…”

O’Rourke: “I’m just looking at what Fianna Fáil have said. They will pay sums equivalent to the old-age pension to people over 65 in the meantime, pending a review.”

Buckley: “In 2017, there was a Joint Oireachtas committee looking at the issue of the State pension. And there were very prominent members of the Fianna Fáil party, including Willie O’Dea, the pensions spokesperson, on that committee.

“And the committee recommended to the minister, in July 2017, to conduct a review and to not go ahead with 67 as planned.

“That was in July 2017, we’re now in January 2020 and they have not done that. So we have heard this before from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

“And we need cast-iron guarantees and what people need is that cast-iron guarantee before they go to the polls on the 8th of February.

“People need to know exactly not idle promises, they need definite commitments.”

O’Rourke: “And what about the cost of this? I mean what’s your estimate of the cost?”

Buckley: “Well, the minister’s estimate of the cost, she [Regina Doherty] was, there were parliamentary questions put to the minister Regina Doherty on the 10th, 11th and 12th of December and she said, on the record on the Dáil, that the annual net cost is €217billion a year. Those are the minister’s figures.

“And we accept them.”

O’Rourke: “Yes, but I mean the gross figure is €430million and that’s the basis upon which they must operate. And what you’re saying is the net thing, which I suppose, you know, it allows for what the State would claw back in income tax and so forth.”


Election 2020 leaflet from Age Action.

Via Age Action

Listen back in full here


This Saturday, at noon.

Outside the Intreo office on Cork Street in Dublin 8.

People Before Profit’s Bríd Smyth, above right, who’s hoping to retain her Dáil seat in Dublin South Central, will host a protest over the pension age increase.

She writes:

“Next year the age at which a person qualifies for a state pension will increase to 67. Each year’s increase in the pension age costs a worker €12,911 a year.

“So, next year, the Irish state will save €25,822 for every worker in the country. This is a shocking robbery and must be stopped. This is will be one of the highest retirement ages in the developed world.

“People Before Profit TDs want to restore the pension age to 65. We shall try to initiate a major ‘people power’ movement that will seeks to follow the example of French workers and restore an established retirement age.”

Pension protest: Restore the pension age to 65! (Facebook)

Previously: When I’m 65

Grey Expectations

This afternoon.

Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

SIPTU members in GoSafe hold a further one day stoppage due to the company’s ‘refusal to accept a Labour Court recommendation that it engages with the union on their behalf’.

Staff, who operate speed cameras across the country, are in a dispute centered on conditions of employment and health and safety issues.

The workers also highlight “the manner in which the Department of Justice and the Garda have contracted the company in breach of the public procurement provisions of the Public Service Agreements”.

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

This afternoon.

Ballymount Industrial Estate, Dublin 12.

TV3 Studio Operations Staff hold a protest outside the TV station calling for recognition of their right to collectively bargain with their employer.

SIPTU’s Graham Macken, said:

“”This right [collective bargaining] is accepted in other businesses which are part of Virgin Media Ireland, which is the owner of TV3.”

TV3 said it has “no plans” to recognise unions.

TV3 staff holding protest outside station this afternoon (Irish Examiner)

Sam Boal/RollingNews

Paddy Cole, at SIPTU, writes:

An extra 488 children became homeless in Ireland last month, with the total number of families in emergency accommodation now over 1,700.

These new record numbers represent a new low!

That’s one child being made homeless every 3 and a half hours.

Enough is enough – Share our video (above) and join the national homeless and housing demonstration at 1pm from Parnell Square, Dublin 1 on April 7.

Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Section 39 workers explain why they will go on strike on Valentine’s Day.

There 13,000 Section 39 employees in Ireland. They are not public servants, but their employers are grant-aided by the HSE.

SIPTU says these workers should be included in a recent deal on sleep-over allowances secured with the HSE.

Paddy Cole, at SIPTU writes:

“The Government now has a two-week window to bring the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to the table and face up to its responsibilities to Section 39 workers, their patients and their families.”



Leinster House, Dublin

Protestors (top) seeking pay Justice for Section 39 workers plus (above) Siptu campaign video – Making the difference for Section 39 workers.

The community and voluntary sectors have two two groups of workers.

Section 38 agencies are are funded to provide “a defined level of service on behalf of the HSE” and their staff are included in public service employment numbers.

Section 39 agencies receive grant aid from the HSE to provide services but their employees are not included in the public service roll.

Paddy Cole of Siptu writes:

“Section 39 workers are in our hospices, community hospitals and Rehab facilities. In the intellectual disabilities support sector alone, one in ten workers is employed on a Section 39 contract.

Staff undertake precisely the same work as directly employed HSE staff and must have the same qualifications. The only difference is in the pay packet. It’s time to end this injustice.”

Siptu (Facebook)

This morning.

Heuston Station, Dublin.

Richard Smith (above centre) on holiday from USA walks past train drivers and rail workers as they begin a 24-hour strike, the first of five that will shut down Dart, commuter, and Intercity rail services in the run up to Christmas.

Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie


Heuston Station, Dublin

From left: Greg Ennis of SIPTU and General Secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’Leary join the picket

The Iarnród Éireann Trade Union Group have written to the Group Secretary of CIE saying it is “long since passed time that leadership was provided” to end the dispute.

Rail unions write to CIE calling for pay proposal (RTÉ)




Paddy Cole, of SIPTU, writes:

Ann Daly is a cleaner and the longest serving staff member in St Cronan’s Senior National School, Swords, County Dublin.

Ann and her colleagues Lorraine and Pauline have been locked out of their jobs for the last week. Their jobs have been outsourced to a cleaning company which has declined to employ them.

The community is behind them and they will remain on the line until they get justice.

You can sign a petition to urge their reinstatment here. Thank you.

Stories from the fronline, SiIPTU (Facebook)