Our soldiers and sailors are workers and they have a right to proper recognition of their union, PDFORRA, and to be in ICTU. I asked today in the Dáil why the delay over this. The dithering is not acceptable. The forces are loosing members hand over fist because of bad pay and conditions;we’re loosing the very people we rely on during floods and storms to save our communities. This is not good enough.

 

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Fine Gael like to present themselves as being all about equality, yet they treat SCHOOL SECRETARIES like second class citizens. Some are employed directly by the Department but many are not, and so they want parity, a simple demand. It would mean getting sick pay, holiday pay, etc and importantly the respect and aknowledgement these hard working multi-tasking workers deserve. And they will strike to get it, Jan 10th. Full support to Irish School Secretaries.

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Special Needs Assistants do amazing work. The challenges of helping children with special needs through school, are immense. But these skilled, essential workers are undermined, underpaid and undervalued by the very organisation that should cherish them – the Department of Education itself.

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IBEC is the bosses union and they have some neck. They wanted an amendment passed to proposed legislation affecting workers returning to the job after parental leave. If passed, it would mean the worker would NOT necessarily get their old job back. And Fianna Fáil, who like to pose as the ‘worker’s friend’, put the IBEC amendment!! I spoke against it in the Dáil recently.

 

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We all heard about GOLD-PLATED PENSIONS. The impression given was that public service employees were being too well ‘looked after’. The truth is that only very senior civil and public servants (and politicians) got fat pensions – the remainder of nurses, teachers, gardai, defence force personnel, etc etc have very modest pensions and these are being undermined. The pensioners want access to the industrial relations mechanisms as is their due. I spoke to this yesterday in the Dáil.

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