Members of the public services unions Fórsa, SIPTU and INMO were involved in industrial action on 21-23 September as part of the ICTU confederation’s “Valuing Care, Valuing Community” campaign. The unions are pushing for better pay and conditions and increased staffing in non-profit providers of health and social care. They argue that workers in the sector have seen their pay fall relatively to directly employed public sector workers who carry out the same or similar jobs. This is having a major impact on the non-profit sector’s ability to recruit and retain staff.
Fórsa, SIPTU, INMO and other public service unions will be consulting their members over a pay offer from the government that has come following trade union insistence that the pay review clause in the existing collective agreement, Building Momentum, be invoked to address surging inflation. Building Momentum included a 1% pay increase (or €500, whichever is greater) from next month. The new proposal would see pay increases of 3% backdated to 2 February 2022, 2% from 1 March 2023 and 1.5% or €750 (whichever is greater) from 1 October 2023. Fórsa estimates that assuming the minimum payment of
Public service trade unions, including Fórsa, SIPTU and INMO, have agreed to launch a campaign on pay that could involve industrial action. The unions, coordinated by the ICTU confederation, had already called on the government to review pay in the light of the surge in inflation. However, the response was only for an additional 2.5% increase in 2021-22 when inflation has already topped 9%. The unions argue that by failing to complete the pay review in light of higher inflation, the government is failing to meet the requirements of the public service collective agreement, Building momentum
Workers in the care, community and voluntary sector will escalate their campaign of industrial action to secure a first pay rise in 14 years. This follows the failure of the government to engage with unions after the selected strike action earlier in July. The government is key to the dispute as the trade unions want a guarantee that it will increase funding to the organisations to ensure that pay increases can be paid. The trade unions, SIPTU, Fórsa and INMO, are supported by the ICTU confederation in their “Valuing Care, Valuing Community” campaign and they jointly agreed to ballot members
A first wave of strike action across the care and community sector has involved hundreds of workers joining picket lines and protests calling for pay rises that they have been denied for 14 years. The SIPTU union, along with public services union Fórsa and the INMO nursing union, are calling on the government to agree increased funding for the sector to cover pay increases. The unions argue that the pay rises are needed to keep workers in line with the public sector, aid recruitment to tackle staff shortages and so address the threat to the quantity and quality of services provided. The three
Fórsa and other public service unions have invoked a review clause in the current public service agreement in response to the surge in inflation. However, pay talks convened by the Workplace Relations Commission ended without agreement as the government proposals fell far short of 2021 inflation and projected 2022 cost-of-living increases. There are no immediate plans to reconvene the talks. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform had offered supplementary pay rises of just 2.5% for the period 2021-2022, despite expected annual inflation of at least 9% over the two-year period. Another
The SIPTU, Fórsa and INMO trade unions organised a joint national demonstration in Dublin on 3 May to highlight the need for better pay and proper respect for workers in the non-profit community and health services (Section 39) sector. More than 400 protesters attended the rally. The sector provides many services equivalent to those provided directly by the public sector and the unions want to see the implementation of a fair funding model that will address the pay and conditions of all workers in the sector and disparities with the public sector. The unions are launching a national campaign
Public services union Fórsa has welcome the government’s decision to accept an independent body’s recommendation for working time to be restored to pre-austerity levels for virtually all public servants from 1 July 2022. The additional working hours were imposed in July 2013, increasing the standard working time of civil and public servants to 39 hours for those who previously worked between 35 and 37 hours, and to 37 hours for those who previously worked 35 hours or less. The hours of those working 39 hours or more per week were unchanged. The independent body said it had taken account of the
Public services union Fórsa has welcomed a new framework agreed between unions and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform allowing civil servants to apply to work “blended” arrangements – combining home/remote work with normal working. Workers whose requests are denied have the right to a review with the aim to resolve the issues that led to the refusal. The framework places a responsibility on managers to ensure a “fair and effective” system with strong supports, staff development, communications, and effective performance management. And it says there can be no change to a worker’s
The Fórsa public services union reports that its school secretary membership has voted overwhelmingly to accept a new package of pay and working conditions negotiated by the union. The agreement places all school secretaries on public service salary rates after a decades-long campaign for pay equity. The deal significantly improves incomes and paid leave arrangements for low-paid secretaries, who the union says have been overlooked and undervalued for years. All school secretaries will transfer to a new pay-scale aligned with the public service clerical officer scale. This is a major change as
With inflation hitting a 21-year high of 5.6%, Kevin Callinan, head of the Fórsa public service union, has called for the current “Building momentum” public sector agreement to be reviewed. Under the agreement public service pay will increase by just 1.2% this year. The agreement has an opening clause and Callinan argues that both the high level of inflation and more positive situation for the public finances justify the review. Meanwhile, members of the Medical Laboratory Scientists’ Association (part of the SIPTU trade union) will take strike action on 30 March unless the Department of
After a campaign of lobbying and industrial action lasting for over three years, the Fórsa public services trade union is to ballot its school secretary members on proposals to standardise their employment terms and conditions as drafted in negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission. The union will recommend its members vote to support the new arrangements which will contribute to reducing different pay arrangements for school secretaries depending on whether they are directly employed by schools or by central government. There will be a new pay scale and an agreed method of
Planned industrial action on 16 February by 500 hospital pharmacists, members of the Fórsa trade union, was called off as the dispute was referred to the Labour Court. The workers had voted overwhelmingly in favour of action in a dispute over pay and improvements in the hospital pharmacy service which had been put forward by the union but blocked by the public service ministry. The changes would deliver estimated cost savings of €55m per year, a figure validated by the Department of Health and the Health Services Executive.
Members of the Fórsa public services union who work as hospital pharmacists have voted with a majority of 94% for strike action on 16 February. The union said that a range of measures had been proposed, including new senior posts and a new grading structure that have all been developed to improve and modernise hospital pharmacy services, and bring them in line with international best practice. These, have, however been rejected by the Department for Public Spending and Reform despite the potential for savings of €55m. The pay changes would particularly affect the lower end of the pay scale and
Public service trade unions Fórsa, SIPTU and INMO have welcomed the decision to pay a €1000 tax-free bonus to all those who worked in clinical, COVID-exposed environments and in a separate development to reduce working time for public service workers to pre-austerity levels. From 1 July this year public servants working full-time will return to the 35-hour week that applied before 2013 when austerity measures were introduced in response to the 2008-09 economic and financial crisis. This decision is also seen as partly in recognition of the efforts made during the pandemic. The government has