People Before Profit
Dublin Mid-West Constituency Office: 01 403 0007 Dáil Éireann Office: 01 618 3816
Gino Kenny TD
Gino Kenny TD @ginosocialist
REOPENING OF SCHOOLS Schools have re-opened amid fears from the teachers Union ASTI that vulnerable staff members are at a high risk of infection. Recently the ASTI stated that it was a ‘life or death’ situation for some teachers who were suffering from heart conditions, cancer or diabetes. These members are now required to work throughout the pandemic and have been informed that they cannot work from home. This puts some teachers at serious risk of infection from Covid-19 due to pre-existing conditions. Meanwhile, the Teachers Union of Ireland stated that delaying the reopening of some schools was acceptable if the appropriate physical distancing measures weren’t in place. Schools have encountered various problems including difficulties in employing contractors to adjust school rooms and problems in obtaining substitute teachers. Another group at high risk are the SNA teaching assistants who have sought an urgent meeting with the Department of Education regarding the current guidelines for school staff. SNAs can’t socially distance given the close contact necessary for them to aid students who need personal attention. The lack of space in schools and the susceptibility of ‘high risk’ staff to the virus have not been considered and the coming months will confirm whether the schools can remain open on a full-time basis.
DRAFT PLAN ON PARKING BYE LAWS Residents in Lucan village and Clondalkin village received news that SDCC plan to double residential parking permits and treble the price of visitor permits. For many elderly residents, visitor passes are needed for carer visits. As we saw during recent lockdown, many elderly people needed family visits to do shopping. Other changes planned include ending the free half hour of parking in both villages - this will have an impact on small businesses as shoppers will go to bigger supermarkets that offer free parking. I have submitted an opposition to these changes. These increased charges are very unfair on residents in both villages and will have a negative effect on local shops in our villages. People Before Profit will continue to support residents to ensure these unjust increases are not implemented.
INSIDE: sadfkjasldkfjalskdjf CLIMATE CRISIS AND COVID-19 SCHOOL TRANSPORT FROM LUCAN TO CONVEY COLLEGE LEXILIP DEBENHAMS WORKERS MEDICAL CANNABIS ACCESS PROGRAMME
CLIMATE CRISIS AND COVID-19
PUBLIC INQUIRY NEEDED TO COVID-19 RELATED DEATHS IN NURSING HOMES
The continuing climate crisis has been pushed to the side-lines during the Covid-19 global pandemic. But the link between the two is clearer than many might think. The capitalist drive for profits has produced industrial meat farming on a gigantic scale. More and more land is being taken over for agriculture with massive deforestation and biodiversity loss.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the dysfunctional nature of the nursing home system. Nursing home residents represent 56% of all COVID-19 deaths in Ireland. The nursing care sector rather than being recognised as a critical area for potential outbreaks was deprioritized in the initial response to COVID-19. Staff shortages, lack of PPE and access to testing quickly became major issues. The policy of outsourcing care to private nursing homes, treated as outside the broader health and social care system, saw them excluded from the initial public health response.
Scientists agree that this has increased the possibility of new viruses such as coronavirus SARS-COV2 spreading from animals to humans. The same activities that most likely contributed to the emergence of Covid-19 also have devastating consequences for our climate. But the Covid-19 crisis also provides us with an opportunity to change how we live and work. Working from home has reduced transport emissions. Many people have found solace in nature and gardening. But we need change on an international scale to really combat the climate crisis, including massive reforestation, a ban on fossil fuels, and a reorganisation of society in the interest of people not profits.
Going forward as suggested by the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report August 2020 there needs to be greater integration and more clinical governance over all types of nursing homes. And as advocates for the elderly have been saying for a long time, we need to ensure better community supports are in place to keep people in their own homes for as long as possible. People Before Profit have called for a public inquiry into the circumstances on why there was disproportionally so many deaths in the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s private and public nursing homes.
DEBENHAMS WORKERS: FIGHTING FOR A FAIR REDUNDANCY Throughout this Coronavirus crisis, the Debenhams workers have continued their struggle for fair and decent redundancy packages. Eleven Debenhams stores operated in Ireland earlier this year but following the mass closures during the Covid-19 lockdown, the Irish Debenhams Stores went into liquidation with over 1000 staff directly affected. Offering the workers the most basic statutory redundancy package of two weeksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pay for every year worked, this was to be capped at 600 euro a week, plus one additional week added to the overall redundancy. Staff are demanding a fairer redundancy deal of four weeks for every year worked. Since the closure, Debenhams workers have picketed the stores in pursuit of this redundancy package. The workers are holding 24/7 pickets on the various Debenhams stores to prevent the removal of stock as employees argue that the value of the merchandise could be used to pay towards fairer redundancy packages.
People Before Profit NEWSLETTER Occupied Territories Bill. DIGNITY IN DYING BILL 2020
This month I will introduce the Dignity in Dying Bill 2020 in the Dáil. This legislation will give the legal and medical provision to those who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness the choice to have a peaceful end to their life. The bill itself was introduced in late 2015 but it never got to second stage. I believe that it is extremely important to begin this debate in a rational, respectful and coherent manner so that all opinions can be heard. The bill can be viewed at www.ginokenny.com
MEDICAL CANNABIS ACCESS PROGRAMME As of going to print nearly fifty people have been granted ministerial medical cannabis licences in the state. This gives the licence holder – who in most circumstances is the parent of a child – the legal right to secure the provision of a medical cannabis product. During the public health emergency, the Department of Health made provision for those licence holders to have their prescription delivered from the Netherlands by courier. This was welcomed but major problems still exist in relation to reimbursement which can be arbitrary, and the unacceptable delay in the formal commencement of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme. I will continue to raise this issue with the new health minister and the government.
NEW GOVERNMENT. A NEW START ON HOUSING? In the February election, people rejected both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael who are now at their lowest level of support in 100 years. Their refusal to tackle landlords and vulture funds pushed hundreds onto the streets during the last government, and now we are seeing more of the same. In the new programme for government the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Green party coalition has drastically reduced their commitment to building social housing and have now rejected People Before Profit’s call to extend the ban on evictions. We are now seeing landlords and vulture funds evicting tenants in the middle of a pandemic, with 10 deaths of homeless people in Dublin for July alone. In both South Dublin County Council and the Dáil, People Before Profit have been fighting to end this homelessness crisis. We have been fighting against the sell-off of public land to private developers, we have been fighting for more social housing and a complete ban on evictions.
CAPACITY ON 66A BUS - LUCAN TO LEXILIP
A number of people have contacted me in regards to capacity issues on the 66A bus when its picking up passengers at morning peak time via Lucan. In some cases passengers who are students or workers have been left with no public transport alterative to get to Leixlip. I have written to the NTA and Dublin Bus requesting that the service be reviewed to allow extra capacity at peak times . Guidelines around Covid-19 have meant that buses are running at 50% seat capacity.
People Before Profit NEWSLETTER SCHOOL TRANSPORT FROM LUCAN TO CONVEY COLLEGE LEXILIP
GRIFFEEN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Nearly 160 pupils attend Convey College in Lexilip from Lucan and surrounding areas. Most rely on school bus transport. In August the transport company that operates the service stated it could no longer operate the service due to the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coronavirus guidelines that public transport could only operate at fifty percent capacity.
I wrote to the Minister for Education Norma Foley expressing the frustration that parents and staff at GCC were experiencing because of the lack of clarity around the temporary accommodation and ultimately, the much-needed extension to the school. 0612
As of going to print a temporary resolution has been made in the short term. I have written to the relevant Minister requesting that a permanent solution is found for those students relying on school transport.
In August Griffeen Community College were informed by the Dept of Education that temporary accommodation would not be in place by the start of September. This has caused huge concerns for pupils and parents of the students who are being educated at the nearby Kishoge Community School.
working with Gino Kenny TD
Dublin Mid West Representatives
People Before Profit Constituency Office Unit 3 Monastery Rd, Clondalkin, Dublin 22. 01-4030007 Open to the Public. Monday 12.30pm-2.30pm. Wednesday 12.30pm-2.30pm. All Other Times by Appointment. PROFIT
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