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Ructions in PSEU

category dublin | bin tax / household tax / water tax | news report author Tuesday October 21, 2003 17:34author by Angry Civil Servant - PSEU Report this post to the editors

Another stab in the back from Dan Murphy

The Public Service Executive Union has issued a circular to all branches in response to a stream of enquiries to head office about the unions stand on the bin tax

The circular, dated 17 October, quotes the motion from the 2001 Conference which clearly binds the union to supporting the campaigns. However General Secretary Dan Murphy has other ideas. He attaches David Beggs stab in the back statement from ICTU for good measure. Interestingly this circular hasn't been distributed electronically but I quote the last two paragraphs:

"The current campaign involving refusal to pay, prevention of refuse collection and seeking publicity by deliberately courting jail sentences for the flouting of court orders is clearly a political campaign and courld hardly be described as 'legitimate' and is not organised by ICTU"

"In that context, the Union did not participate in the demonstration organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions last Saturday and the Union's representative abstained on the vote at the Council meeting."

author by Sir Humphry - Ministry of Warpublication date Tue Oct 21, 2003 17:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's an e-mail he sent to branch officers doing the rounds:

Dear fellow PSEU branch officers,

I’m writing to you in relation to a recently issued circular from Head Office on the subject of local authority refuse charges, dated 17 October 2003.
The circular quotes the motion passed at the 2001 Annual Delegate Conference on this issue. As a participant in the debate that took place at the ADC two years ago there are points raised in the circular, which I feel I can’t let go unchallenged.

The motion came from the Enterprise Trade and Employment Branch and the Executive recommended rejection. Lauri Walsh, a former Assistant General Secretary gave the stock arguments in favour of bin charges and said that by supporting it the union would be aligning itself with “exotic groups”.

I spoke as a delegate from the Valuation Office/Ordnance Survey branch and someone who has been active on the issue of opposing local authority charges since 1994 and made the point that campaigns against water and bin charges were campaigns of non payment which had enjoyed the support of other unions.

In the end the conference voted decisively to back the motion. Delegates were clear on the type of campaigns being referred to in the motion.

The circular goes on to say:

“They [the outgoing Executive – MO’B] noted that the Executive Committee had made it clear to Conference that, if it carried the motion, the Union would not be supporting campaigns other than ones which would be organised by ICTU as the Union could, otherwise, find itself supporting political groups.”

I have no recollection of the Executive saying that it would only interpret the motion as calling on support for ICTU backed campaigns at the conference and if they felt so strongly about it they should have had a written amendment to that effect on the agenda. To say that only ICTU organised campaigns would be backed is in effect saying to the membership that we will do nothing because no such campaign has ever been forthcoming from ICTU.

The line taken by both the General Secretary in the circular and David Begg in the attached ICTU statement in their characterisation of the campaigns, who successfully organised majority non-payment of this charge across Dublin, is disgraceful. In fact it represents a disowning of Trade Union heritage in this country which on many occasions was marked by bad laws being challenged and the consequences being paid in terms of state repression including jailings. The recent change in the waste management law enabling the councils to leave uncollected the waste of non-payers is a repressive law designed to smash the campaigns and must be actively opposed. If there wasn’t so much opposition to the charge there wouldn’t have been any need for that law change.

The final paragraph of the circular refers to the demonstration on 11 October organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, which while not being ICTU, is a representative body of trade unions organised in Dublin including the PSEU. Only our delegate failed to support this initiative by abstaining. In the debate that preceded the vote this delegate spoke against any action being taken at all. Despite pleas from myself and other ordinary members who turned out at the protest on the day, our officials withheld the union banner from the demonstration.

Fellow members, I think this approach is completely at odds with the policy of the union as agreed at the 2001 ADC. Other unions while in certain cases disputing the methods used by the protesters have put on public record their opposition to the bin charges and the jailings in line with their policy and were represented at the Dublin Council of Trade Unions demonstration. Union officers and Executive committees cannot have an a la carte attitude to motions agreed at conference and disregard the ones they don’t like.

Finally in relation to the attached statement by David Begg in the name of ICTU, which came out the morning after a 5,000 strong demonstration organised effectively by word of mouth at a day’s notice. To link the campaigns with the threat of privatisation of the bin collection service stands logic on its head. Outside Dublin where most of the local authorities have privatised the service, they have done so after achieving compliance on the bin charge because only then does it become attractive to the private operator. Furthermore after achieving compliance the established trend has been for the charge to increase dramatically as either a private concern or a measure to plug the budget deficit of cash strapped local authorities. The lessons of what has happened outside Dublin has not been lost on activists who see this as a regressive charge concealing an agenda of turning public services into commodities that will yield a profit for a private operator. To label those same activists, most of whom have no history of political activity as being misled is extremely demeaning on the part of David Begg who in the month since issuing that statement has been rebuked by many ordinary trade union members as well as some prominent ones.

Regardless of your own personal views on the matter, I hope this mail will restore some balance to the way the issue is being presented. The PSEU branch committee in An Post has recently passed a motion reaffirming the official union policy on this matter and backed the stand taken by the activists. Maybe your branch would also consider this.

Michael O’Brien, Branch Secretary,

Valuation Office/Ordnance Survey

(Writing in a personal capacity)

author by ex PSEU member - eh that will be the PSEUpublication date Tue Oct 21, 2003 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Big Dan thinks he owns the union.

author by pat cpublication date Tue Oct 21, 2003 18:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its a good riposte.

author by Degeneratepublication date Tue Oct 21, 2003 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I take it one of the exotic groups, which they refer to, are the working class. You don't get too many of them at the dinner parties they frequent. High Court judges perhaps. I can just see Dan "if I may suggest sending them down for six month next time judge - could you pass me the sauce Mella".

author by citizen smithpublication date Tue Oct 21, 2003 22:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think you're confusing them (us!) with the AHCPS - The "Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants", the organisation representing the senior management grades of Assistant Principal Officer & Principle Officer in the Civil Service.

Dining with High Court Judges? Hardly. The PSEU mostly represents the middle management grades of Executive Officer and Higher Executive Officer.

EO Standard Scale
€23,521 - 24,706 - 26,505 - 27,881 - 29,214 - 30,542 - 31,837 - 33,146 - 34,420 - 35,730 - 36,600 - 37,844 - 39,090


HEO Standard Scale
€37,520 - 38,653 - 39,781 - 40,918 - 42,052 - 43,191 - 44,328 - 45,965 - 47,606


(Bearing in mind it can take up to 16 years service to get to the maximum point on the scale)

The PSEU is a bit of a joke in ehhh traditional union terms... Maybe they need to receive a few more letters like the one above....

author by Degeneratepublication date Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Read my comment again. I made no reference to ordinary PSEU members, I was talking about the Scargill like Dan Murphy. Job for life and all that. Ol' Dan certainly thinks the working class are exotic.

author by Degeneratepublication date Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just reread my original posting and it does look like I may have been confusing things.
My comments were aimed at Dan Murphy.

author by SIPTU memberpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 15:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Surprise surprise
From what I've been fairly reliably informed the Dublin Council of Trade Unions doesn't intend to undertake any further actions or mobilisations against the bin tax and the jailing of protestors.

author by Paid from Huntstownpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 15:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good - what did you expect anyway?

author by Jim Cpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 15:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Another knife in the heart of the anti-bin tax "struggle". It'll be all over in a couple of weeks, and you'll have lost.

author by Januspublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 15:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On other Bin Tax related news the Phoenix has a piece this week which suggests the congrats the SWP sent to the SP last Saturday was sent with clenched teeth. According to the article Brid Smith and Ruth Coppinger went at each other after a press conference hurling abuse about each other's party and were, frankly stupid, enough to do so in front of journalists.

Ahhh, the sweet taste of left wing infighting. God forbid we could ever have a campaign where we could focus on the enemy. The only people the SP and the SWP hate more than Bertie, Mary, Charlie et al is each other and the Shinners.

I wasn't aware a SIPTU comrade tried to keep Mick O'Reilly off the platform though.

author by Pablopublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 15:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah right you twat as if we were ever banking on Union support. Fcukin trolls got nothing better to do?

author by Joepublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 15:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anyone else reckon Jim C is Pat D's long lost twin?

Looking forward to the apperance of Joe B.

author by Paid from Huntstownpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes, we do. We work. The real working class as opposed to the imaginary class of people supposedly represented by Joe, Clare et al.

author by random inputpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 16:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you know, write something more than two lines?

author by Boxing Fanpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 16:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Surely the lightweight championship of Ireland.

author by red - scarepublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 16:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Yes, we do. We work. The real working class as opposed to the imaginary class of people supposedly represented by Joe, Clare et al"

so who do you think voted for joe higgins and clare daly? If you're really from huntstown ask your neighbours.

author by Hebepublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Unfair bout. Thats a Heavy Weight versus a Bantam weight.(But in a brains contest Ruth would be the Heavy Weight)

author by Paid from Huntstownpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes, I really am from Huntstown and for what it's worth all my oppressed? working class? neighbours are paying the bin tax. Why do they not care about the struggle?

author by Arizonapublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wouldn't take everything you read in Phoenix as gospel. It's edited by a retired armchair republican who thinks it's really satirical to make up stories about the Trots.
Also been a long time since I visited this site and little has changed. Still the same old crowd rubbishing each other and obsessed with gossip.
Enlightening to be reminded that contributors to this site think it smart to hurl personal abuse at those in jail.
I understand perfectly how one or two visits is quite enough for those with lives to lead.

author by Phoenixreaderpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 18:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The core of the incident described in Phoenix is true enough although the gloss put on it is a bit much.

The Fingal campaign held a press conference and at the end Brid Smith started giving out about how she hadn't been invited while there were still a bunch of journalists around.

author by Another Phoenix readerpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 18:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Enlightening to be reminded that contributors to the site think that it's smart to rubbish the site when it is the only source of up to the minute information on the bin tax campaign and is the only news source that has given a voice to the campaigners. The site's readership has actually been growing hugely during the last 6 weeks.

Also, can you back up your allegation about the Phoenix making up stories about the trots. As a regular reader, I am not aware of this ever happening. Can you please enlighten me with any evidence at all?

author by fingal fighterpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 18:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The Fingal campaign held a press conference and at the end Brid Smith started giving out about how she hadn't been invited..........."

It was the FINGAL campaign press conference. Bríd, you're not active in Fingal! and while we're at it, SWP are not active in Fingal.

Why should you be invited to the speak at the Fingal press conference? Do you have a big ego, or what?

author by A third Phoenix readerpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 18:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So two of the little squabbles we have seen over the last while have been about Brid Smith not getting to speak from a platform she hadn't been invited to speak from? (The DCTU march and a Fingal press conference)

Is Brid some kind of egomaniac or is this about the SWP trying to make sure it gets a speaker at everything?

author by fingal fighterpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2003 18:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Personally I think that Brid should not have been stopped speaking at the DCTU rally. I never knew that they didn't allow her speak untill she, and a SWPer with a megaphone demanded it.

On Fingal, why would they even think about Brid being on the press conference platform. It would be a bit odd having someone outside Fingal speaking at the Press Conference.

Is this a case of one woman with ego problems? (I think not) Or is it the SWP looking for a bit of limelight (I think so)

PS
I not that RBB didn't try to dodge his summons to the High Court last Friday- publicity seeking?

author by mines a pintpublication date Mon Oct 27, 2003 20:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

so DCTU are doing no more on the bin tax?
sad to think about all the pubs that will lose business by these fat parasite union spoofers not having another day out. also, no collection money for them to mislay.
whats the world coming to?
the bin tax campaign is doomed without these bastions of social justice. we might as well give up now and join the pd's.
i personally was expecting the DCTU to advocate international revolution and a reduction in the price of a midday pint. anything less would be a betrayal of the workers .
i don't know if i can go on with life without being able to issue the call
" take it to the unions".
my only other solution could be to go out and do it myself. anyone ever consider that one?

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