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med a CDP) for t a (L s e m na gram campaig ment Pro munity� Develop m o y C it n r u fo m al Com e “Unity from Loc nched th . Activists mmittee and lau erty Hall, Dublin d rginalise o ib c L l a in n y o r ti with ma a u g na r in b k e r F o t yw e pro on 1s e countr nities. Th , training meeting around th antaged commu n s o P ti D a c C u L ed 54 adv access to n. LCDPs were currently hin the most dis m re o a fr t re s e e it io Th rth sw me clus nd group those who are fu risk of social ex clusion Program in people a t n In s o ed l e s s h ia a e c ig b s o h u S foc e at ent nd are gramme and thos Local Developm (CDPs) a t, e n e m m m y ra lo e g 2. and emp rger of th evelopment Pro on page y the me yD it ontinued C n u m m formed b Co and the s. (LDSIP) ural area r d n a n a b r u th bo

February 2011

Community Newsletter

Community Newsletter Continued from page 1.

The formation of the LCDP SIPTU committee gives workers a much stronger national voice and the ability to co-ordinate union activity across the country. The committee is comprised of union activists and is supported by Eddie Mullins (SIPTU Sectoral Organiser for the Community Sector) and the Strategic Organising Department. With the ongoing changes and challenges facing LCDP workers the need for a well organised group has never been greater, particularity with the uncertainty surrounding Government cuts and how they will impact on the Community Sector.

ILDN Proposals Much of the discussion on the day was focused on ILDN (Irish Local Development Network) proposals to re-align pay scales. The proposals, which have yet to be formally made to SIPTU, have been circulating over the past few weeks. Stability and certainty in relation to wages was broadly welcomed. However the committee was clear that changes to pay cannot be done without the agreement of workers.

We need to build a strong union for LCDP workers so that we can fight to protect pay and conditions. This is why the “Unity for Community” Campaign has been launched by the Strategic Organising Department. If you work to tackle poverty and social exclusion by giving a voice to the voiceless, your issues should not go unheard. Workers in LCDP companies should have the right to negotiate their pay and conditions with those who make the big decisions. Over the coming months, SIPTU organisers will be arranging meetings with local programmes to discuss the ILDN proposals and to make sure that you have a voice within your union. For more information, you can contact a local organiser. West: Noreen Parker 087 4127591 South: Trevor Quinn 087 2906803

A sub-committee was elected to engage with the ILDN and will report back at the next committee meeting. Union members will be kept up to date with developments via their shop steward and newsletter.

East: Shonagh Byrne 087 7454581

Collective Bargaining

North: Darragh O’Connor 087 2501730 Midlands: Paul Hansard 087 7266022

Key to the issue of pay is collective bargaining. While workers in the public and private sector have the ability to negotiate their pay and conditions directly with their employers, much of the community sector have their pay determined by Government Departments. Workers are effectively denied the basic right of negotiating their pay by the “shadow employer”. Workers must establish the principle that if our pay and conditions are being changed, we have a seat at the negotiating table and any proposals are voted on by union members.


Unity for Community

Your Right Your Fight Campaign CE Workers secure victory for One Parent Families and People with Disabilities

Photo: CE Workers an TD’s outside the Daíl after meeting the Social Protection Committee

SIPTU Community Employment (CE) activists, in conjunction with OPEN, INOU and Mental Health Ireland, secured a major victory for one parent families and people with disabilities. This victory by the Your Right, Your Fight Campaign means that lone parents and people with disabilities will be able to continue to access CE Schemes and to work and train to improve their lives and the lives of their families. The ‘Your Right Your Fight’ campaign was launched in response to the McCarthy report and comments made by a Department of Finance spokesperson (Irish Independent, 12th May 2010) which indicated that 10,000 CE workers would no longer be entitled to any portion of their One Parent Family or Disabilities welfare allowance. These cuts would have made it financially impossible for one parent families or people with a disability to access Community Employment. Essentially. these proposals would have denied One Parent Families and People with Disabilities a vital route to education, training and work. For many, particularly in rural and areas of disadvantage, CE is the only option available for people to access the labour market. Furthermore, many community

Community Newsletter

services and programmes depend on CE workers who are in receipt of a welfare payment; services such as community childcare where 25% of workers are CE would simply collapse. The campaign which has been coordinated and supported by CE workers, met with over 35 TDs, Senators and Councillors from all political parties. These meetings all involved local CE workers from each constituency who were able to explain how CE has benefitted them and their families and how cuts to welfare allowances would negatively impact on them and the community. A delegation from the campaign met with Minister Eamon O Cuiv on 17th November in the Daíl to explain the devastating impact that cuts to welfare entitlements would have on CE workers and on the Community Sector. At the meeting Minister O’Cuiv stated that he is not considering proposals to cut welfare payments for CE workers who are lone parents or disabled. This statement was welcomed by the delegation on behalf of CE workers.

Defending Ireland’s Communities Defending Ireland’s Communities is a campaign group comprising of Trade Union activists and officials (SIPTU, IMPACT, UNITE), Employers Groups (CSEF) and Community Organisations. It aims to find common ground between its members and campaign on agreed issues. Previously working under the banner of “Communities Against Cuts”, Defending Ireland’s Communities was initially established to challenge Government cut backs to the Community and Voluntary Sector. It has coordinated a range of actions including lobbying politicians, seminars, protests, press launches and publicity events. At all times, the campaign has strived to be activist led and creative in its actions. Currently the group is focused on influencing government policy on three main strands; funding for the sector, the right of collective bargaining for workers and the implementation of outstanding Labour Court recommendations. The group is open to union activists and community & voluntary organisations. If your organisation would like to become involved in Defending Ireland’s Communities, please contact Darragh O’Connor at 01-858 6365 or

The campaign committee also had the opportunity to make a presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Social Protection Committee on 24th November 2010. The Daíl Committee was advised of Minister O Cuiv’s statements and Committee members gave widespread support and congratulations to the campaign, in particular to all the CE workers involved.


A video of the campaign is available at: SIPTUCommunity

BE R 20 10 @ 7p m

Defiance a n d Ho p e

This is a major victory for one parent families and people with disabilities who will be able to continue to access CE Schemes and to work and train to improve their lives and the lives of their families. The campaign has been a great success due to the hard work, support and dedication of the CE workers involved in the campaign and, on behalf of SIPTU, we would like to thank all the workers involved.






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A Spectacle of Hope and Defiance The Scales of Justice – Photo by Chris Maguire

On a clear Friday night in December, community and youth organisations, trade unions, cultural groups, students and campaigning organisations came together to participate in a Radical Spectacle through the streets of Dublin. The Government attacks against community organisations and ordinary people have been relentless over the past three years with funding to groups slashed. The heart is literally being ripped out of communities by policies that continue to fail ordinary people. The Spectacle was an act of creative resistance, a renewal of hope and a clear statement of defiance. Continued from page 4.


Community Newsletter Continued from page 3.

Unlike any protest or demonstration that Dublin has seen before, everyone attending the Spectacle had a role to play. Street dancers led the way around the city streets followed by singers, stilt-walkers, a 20 foot skeleton banker and a giant scales of justice. The symbol of the event was the heart; the heart of our communities, the heart that give us strength, the heart that bleeds if cut. Drummers sounded the heartbeat of communities at the Central Bank where hundreds of people hung heart shaped posters on the railings. A full video of the event is available at: watch?v=iegPq0aj_jI

Stay Connected Check for news and event updates at FACEBOOK Join with workers and communities by searching for”Defending Irelands Communities” on FACEBOOK. YouTube Video updates can be seen at SIPTUCommunity

Membership Information and Support Centre As part of the new structures in SIPTU established a specialist centre to work with the five new Divisions and the Legal Rights Unit in the handling of individual member queries and grievances. SIPTU’s new Membership Information and Support Centre (MISC) is staffed by Information Assistants and Organisers/Advocates who will specialise in providing information, advice and representation for SIPTU members on individual rights issues. As well as providing information and advice, MISC Organiser/Advocates represent SIPTU members on individual rights claims at hearings involving the Rights Commissioner, Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), the Labour Court, the Equality Tribunal and the relevant Industrial and Employment Tribunals in Northern Ireland. They also represent SIPTU members in other bodies dealing with individual members issues.

MembersMEMBERSHIP call your Membership INFORMATION Information & Support &Centre SUPPORT CENTRE (MISC) for all your enquiries or concerns:

Industrial organisers help workers solve collective issues (i.e. issues that affect a number of people in the workplace). Below are the contact details for the industrial organisers assigned to the community division and the counties they cover. Eddie Mullins (Sector Organiser): Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford 01 879 4312 Diane Jackson: Clare, Galway, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon 01 858 8271 Joan Donegan: Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Wicklow 01 8586358 Michael Kiely: Carlow, Laois, Limerick, Tipperary 061 317289 Pat Flannery: Longford, Westmeath 094 9021382 Anthony McCormack: Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo 071 9161841


8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., Monday - Friday

8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., Monday - Friday 4

P r i n t e d b y T r a d e U n i o n L a b o u r.

SIPTU Community Newsletter  

SIPTu Community Newsletter

SIPTU Community Newsletter  

SIPTu Community Newsletter