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Tag Archives: SIPTU

HSE challenging St Joseph’s admissions ban

THE Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed it will challenge efforts by the independent health watchdog HIQA to impose restrictions on new admissions to St Joseph’s Geriatric Hospital in Ennis. HIQA is on a collision course with the HSE over regulatory issues at the hospital, which provides vital public step-down facilities to elderly people. The Clare Champion has learned that admissions will continue at St Joseph’s, pending the outcome of a court appeal being prepared by the HSE. A SIPTU spokesman told The Clare Champion that its members have been providing the best quality care to patients in St Joseph’s. The spokesman explained the regulatory issues do not cover patient care but moreso difficulties in relation to the physical infrastructure, which HIQA have been highlighting for some time. Over the last three years, he said there have been plans to carry out remedial works at St Joseph’s, as well as an overall plan to construct a new facility on the …

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Roche’s €27.5m on wages and pensions

WAGES, salaries, social insurance and pensions cost Roche €27.5 million last year, it emerged this week. According to company accounts filed for the financial year ended December 31, 2015, Roche Ireland Limited spent €20.7m on wages and salaries; €2.2m on social insurance; €3.5m on defined benefit pension service costs and €977,000 on other benefits. The total figure is up from €24.8m a year earlier. It has also emerged that a majority of employees have taken a generous redundancy package of six weeks wages from the company, plus two weeks statutory redundancy, depending on years of service as part of their exit compensation. All of this is capped at a maximum of 2.5 years wages. A small number of employees, believed to be in the region of 10%, have secured jobs in other pharmaceutical companies. SIPTU industrial organiser Paul dePuis believes all the redundancies will be on a voluntary basis. However, if the company does not secure the number of voluntary …

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Strike postponed at Element Six

INDUSTRIAL action due to take place at Element Six this week, having been earlier adjourned, has now been postponed for a second time. SIPTU members have been at loggerheads with management for some time over a variety of issues, most particularly a failure by the company to implement a Labour Court recommendation. Representatives of the union told The Clare Champio that their members were under very high levels of stress, with many of them having to take medication to cope with the prevailing situation. A meeting between management and SIPTU took place last Friday, which was chaired by Brian McGinn of the Labour Relations Commission. It is understood that some progress was made at this meeting, which led to the decision to postpone the strike action again. A document is set to be put to the union shortly, with members due to ballot on it thereafter. However, it is understood that there are some concerns already emerging that attempts may …

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Element Six SIPTU workers set to strike

SIPTU workers at Element Six have been suffering mental health issues, as a result of stress and pressure in the workplace, it has been claimed. This comes in advance of a planned 24-hour work stoppage on September 21. One shop steward told The Clare Champion that union members have spoken to him about having been prescribed medication to deal with workplace-related anxiety and depression. He said people have also been ringing him to say they are unable to go to work, such is their level of distress. “It’s very bad, to the point that people took a stand for industrial action; they felt they had no other option. The way that people are being treated down there, I think people have had enough. Numerous people have been out, due to stress; some of them have just conceded and taken early retirement. I think most of them would have rather worked until closer to 65, but they are just conceding and …

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Element Six workers serve notice of strike action

SIPTU members in Element Six in Shannon have served management with notice of a 24-hour work stoppage which will begin on Wednesday, September 21 at 6.30am. SIPTU Organiser, Ray Mitchell, said: “Last month, our members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in response to the failure of management to fully implement a Labour Court recommendation in relation to changes of work practices and shift patterns at the industrial diamond manufacturing plant. “Since then, there has been no attempt by management to engage with our members to discuss the issues that have resulted in this dispute. SIPTU representatives remain available to meet with management to engage in serious negotiations to find a solution to the outstanding issues.” He added: “If management was to engage in negotiations with our members that were really aimed at finding a resolution to the issues in dispute, the upcoming action could yet be averted. It is now up to management to show its willingness to focus …

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March 1 wage increase for student nurses

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has welcomed the proposals to increase wages for students’ nurses and midwives. The proposals are to come into effect on March 1 after joint efforts of SIPTU nursing the Department of Health, PNA, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, independent facilitator Sean McHugh, HSE and INMO, with supporting research by USI. The USI found that 93% of student nurses have thought about emigrating when they qualify. USI are hopeful that this number will decrease once the pay increases come into effect. Student nurses and midwives are currently paid below the minimum wage at a rate of €6.49 an hour. “USI welcomes the action by the Government to relieve the strain on financially crippled student nurses,” Kevin Donoghue, USI president, said. “I read about one nursing student who was paid just €374 after tax for working 114 hours in three weeks, which equates to a mere €3.28 an hour. This change in the …

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No Roche job losses in short term

There will be no job losses in Roche’s manufacturing facility in the short term, despite yesterday’s confirmation of its shock closure over a three-year period. A company spokesperson has confirmed it is business as usual in Roche and stated there will be no redundancies before June 2016. After that time, in the event of a reduction in production of its products in its Clarecastle plant, the spokesperson explained the company would take another look at employment levels at that stage. Managing Director, Roche Ireland Limited, Gerry Cahill acknowledged Thursday was a very difficult day for all of its employees. “Clarecastle has been a significant and successful manufacturing site since 1974 and the proposal for Roche to exit the site is in no way a reflection on the performance of the people or the site. “We will do our utmost to support our colleagues during this transition,” he said. Roche has informed the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the IDA of …

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Dooley urges dialogue to avert transport strikes

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley has cautioned the Government that they must work with bus unions to avert planned strikes by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann workers. Members of SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union are planning to hold two 48-hour stoppages on May 1 and 2 and May 15 and 16 in a row over the privatisation of bus routes. Deputy Dooley commented, “The Government, and Minister Paschal Donohoe in particular, needs to take whatever action is necessary to prevent these strikes from going ahead. The timing is particularly serious as it will affect tens of thousands of commuters, passengers and tourists on a busy bank holiday weekend. The fact that major rail engineering works are planned for that same weekend, resulting in the cancellation of a number of DART services and the closure of certain train stations adds to the imposition on travellers. “Commuters are understandably annoyed at the prospect of another strike. A previous strike in August …

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