Thursday, 22 December 2011
TDs taken on Road to Recognition presentation
As part of the Road to Recognition campaign the ICTU Community Committee and the Community Sector Employers Forum (CSEF) gave a joint presentation to TDs on the need for collective bargaining in the community sector on the 28th November 2012.
Almost twenty TD and representatives from the major parties attended the presentation in the AV room of the Daíl along with activists from SIPTU and the CSEF.
Currently many union members in the community sector don’t have a say over their terms and conditions at work. However unlike the private sector, it is not the direct employer who determines pay, but Government Departments.
Union activists, employers and community groups have come together under the Road to Recognition campaign to establish collective bargaining in the community sector. In practice this means that those who make the big decisions, Government Departments, have to take their seat at the negotiating table.
Union activist Elaine Harvey stated “when we can’t negotiate with the people who are making the decisions about our terms and conditions – it reduces us as workers. Collective bargaining is fundamental. We need good politicians from all parties to do the right thing and support our campaign and recognise the value of the sector and the rights of its workers”.The CSEF recently produced a Report ‘Tackling the Shadow Employer Role: Improving State and Community sector Employer Relationship’. This examines the difficulties being caused for employers because of inappropriate interventions by government funders in the internal decision making of independent organisations (full report available www.csef.ie).
Spokesperson for the CSEF, Jean Somers stated “Tensions are arising between community sector employers and their government funders in relation to employment issues. We need a forum within which Government funders engage with employers and TUs to resolve these and broader employment issues.’
Together with defending budgets to the community sector, the Road to Recognition campaign is a key objective for community unions. SIPTU Campaign Coordinator Darragh O’Connor stated “it is simply unjust that community workers are denied the fundamental right of negotiating their pay and conditions. We welcome that representatives from Labour, Sinn Fein and United Left Alliance recognised the challenges facing the sector and that they have committed to assisting the campaign”.
Photo Caption: “SIPTU activists after presenting the Road to Recognition at the Daíl”.