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Dublin - Event Notice
Monday November 23 2009
03:00 PM

CDP/JI/CE protest in Clondalkin , Dublin, Mon 23-11-09.

category dublin | worker & community struggles and protests | event notice author Thursday November 19, 2009 22:32author by Sharon. - Individual. Report this post to the editors

Community groups to take to the streets of Clondalkin.

Protest march in Clondalkin by CDP / JI / CE workers .
CDP / JI / CE 'savings' needed to pay for the financial bonus to the political 'elite'.
Protest against CDP / JI / CE cutbacks , Monday 23rd November 2009 , 3.30pm ,Clondalkin , Dublin.
Protest against CDP / JI / CE cutbacks , Monday 23rd November 2009 , 3.30pm ,Clondalkin , Dublin.

Hi !
A protest march through Clondalkin Village , to the office of local Fianna Fail elected representative John Curran , will be held on Monday 23rd November 2009 , beginning at 3.30pm.

The protest has been organised by Community Development Project groups and will be supported by , amongst others , CDP's from outside Clondalkin, JI and CE workers. The groups are meeting up at 3.30pm outside the County Council Offices (facing the Mill Shopping Centre) and will march through Clondalkin Village to the office of John Curran.
It will be loud and colourful - and serious ; serious , because hundreds of people will be affected by the intended closure of the CDP / JI / CE etc programmes , not to mention the 'ripple effect' that losing those community workers will have for local organisations.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by stericalpublication date Thu Nov 19, 2009 22:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is this a Republican Sinn Fein protest ?

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Nov 19, 2009 23:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello Sterical !

"Just to be clear . Is this a Republican Sinn Fein protest ?"
No .
As stated - "The protest has been organised by Community Development Project groups..." , and will be the fourth such protest march that RSF has supported.
Not organised by RSF , but definitely supported by RSF.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by bpmpublication date Fri Nov 20, 2009 23:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It should be noted that there has been some serious mismanagement of both CE and JI. Many very good individuals work in both and provide some very essential services however there are a small number who abuse the whole system. In my own experience this has included being off sick for months without it being officialy noted with FAS - being paid without permission, hours being doctored - not actually being worked - its funny at times though having CE and JI staff who are better paid with all their extra benefits than some poor idiot that takes on a regular job. In some areas JI staff get time and a half for working after 6pm making them not exactly low paid. As I say this is a minority however no one with the power to change it does - too many bloody vested interests up to and including FAS staff who turn a blind eye - all good union members Im sure - in fact on this one I dont blame the government I blame bad management of the schemes for the fact that they are under threat

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sat Nov 21, 2009 18:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi bpm !
The "serious mismanagement" with CE and JI can be attributed to , firstly , FAS , and secondly , to the sponsors involved (ie the actual location where the employee is placed) - it is within either or both of those institutions that the blame should be placed , and not on the employee him/herself.

" In my own experience this has included being off sick for months without it being officialy noted with FAS - being paid without permission, hours being doctored - not actually being worked"
That is simply not possible within the confines of the particular system which exists- the management in the sponsor company (creche,community centre etc) has to sign-off on the daily worksheet of the JI / CE employee and that timesheet is collected once a week by the area manager (JI / CE management / local 'Partnership' supervisor) so , unless they are all in on the 'scam' , it wouldn't work. Plus , the employee him/herself has to present themselves everyweek (usually on a Thursday) to sign for their wages , which are paid over on receipt of a properly-signed-off timesheet.

"its funny at times though having CE and JI staff who are better paid with all their extra benefits than some poor idiot that takes on a regular job."
Rubbish. If the "poor idiot" in question is paid the same wage (approximately €450 a week for a 39-hour week) then they , too, would be entitled to whatever extra State benefits that any other low-paid employee would be entitled to.

" In some areas JI staff get time and a half for working after 6pm making them not exactly low paid."
Not so , although it is an issue which has been raised at trade union level . The only 'incentive' for a JI / CE employee to work late / start early is 'TOIL' ie 'time off in lieu' . Any present or past JI / CE worker would know that to be the case. Overtime money is never paid by FAS to JI / CE employees.

"As I say this is a minority however no one with the power to change it does - too many bloody vested interests up to and including FAS staff who turn a blind eye"
Again , not the case : FAS management may indeed 'turn a blind eye' to its own wage and expenses issues , but they give no quarter whatsoever to JI / CE workers.

" I dont blame the government I blame bad management of the schemes for the fact that they are under threat."
Then do what should be done in any other job - punish those that mismanage , not those that are mismanaged.
Your agenda here is one of 'divide and conquer' - to try and present JI / CE programmes and employees as , in the main, 'lazy work-shy strokers on the fiddle' , possibly in the hope that they will lose the support of other workers , in their campaign to keep their jobs. Pick on someone your own size , and leave these poorly-paid workers alone.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Nov 23, 2009 22:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
We held our Community Sector protest today in Clondalkin , in the icy-cold wind and the heavy drizzle , from 3.30 pm to 5.45pm - with a promise to John Curran that we will , once again (for the third time) repeat the exercise sometime within the next fortnight.
He wouldn't come out to listen to us but , eventually , three of our number managed to get in to his office - and came out in a more shocked state than when they entered. Curran informed the delegation that he doubted if the threatened Community Sector cuts will affect the proper functioning of the programmes involved...
More at the 'Related Link' below.
Thanks!
Sharon.

RSF on the Community Sector protest , Clondalkin , Dublin , Monday 23 November 2009.
RSF on the Community Sector protest , Clondalkin , Dublin , Monday 23 November 2009.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2009/11/23/community-sector-protest-23-november-2009-clondalkin-dublin/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Nov 24, 2009 23:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The next CDP/ JI/ CE-organised protest outside the office of John Curran will take place on Monday 30 November 2009.
Those attending will be meeting-up outside the County Council Offices in Clondalkin Village (facing the Mill shopping centre) at 3.30pm and will make their way to Curran's constituency office for 4.00pm.
As usual , Republican Sinn Féin members will be taking part.
All Welcome!
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2009/11/23/community-sector-protest-23-november-2009-clondalkin-dublin/
author by larrypublication date Mon Nov 30, 2009 14:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

meself and a few others from clondalkin will be on this protest to currans office
they're gonna close down the work that we've been doing in this area for about 8 years now and put us back on the dole
its not right.

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Nov 30, 2009 23:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Larry !
Great to see you and the lads on the protest today - we made a lot of noise , brought traffic to a stop , and got our point across , despite the fact that the good State Minister was 'too busy' to hear us out.
As mentioned at the protest today , we will be there again at 4pm next Monday , 7th December 2009 - loud , forceful and determined to do all that we can to fight back against the proposed destruction of the Community Sector programme in this State. The communities we live in will suffer greatly if those jobs are done away with.
A brief report and a few pics from the protest today can be viewed at the 'Related Link' below.
Thanks!
Sharon.

RSF on the Community Sector protest, Clondalkin , Monday 30 November 2009.
RSF on the Community Sector protest, Clondalkin , Monday 30 November 2009.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2009/11/30/cdp-ji-ce-protest-clondalkin-dublin-monday-30-november-2009/
author by Emmapublication date Thu Dec 03, 2009 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For Sterical "Is this a Republican Sinn Fein protest ?" Does it matter who organised the protest? Just support the workers and stop bloody backbiting.

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Dec 03, 2009 23:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Emma !
Thank You for that comment : I did state in the first post on this thread - "The protest has been organised by Community Development Project groups and will be supported by , amongst others , CDP's from outside Clondalkin, JI and CE workers..." , but some readers didn't read that part of the post , apparently.
Anyway - we will be outside Mr Curran's Clondalkin office once again on Monday next , 7th December 2009 , at 4pm . We will not be marching from outside the County Council offices this time , as we were losing at least half an hour 'protesting' time by doing so and, with these dark afternoons , it was decided to actually 'spend' that half hour on the picket , rather than using it to form-up and march to Mr Curran's office.
And , once again , 'Sterical' - RSF will be there!
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2009/11/30/cdp-ji-ce-protest-clondalkin-dublin-monday-30-november-2009/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sun Dec 06, 2009 22:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The threatened closure of Community Sector-based jobs will be felt in Clondalkin more so than in any other part of the State , as there are more than 50 JI employees alone based in over 30 community organisations in the area. The types of projects supported range from football clubs, community centres, educational services and caring organisations. JI employees provide relevant and essential supports to their sponsor organisations such as childcare, caretaking, maintenance, security and administration/clerical roles and, were it not for the input of JI and CE staff , those projects would not function as they now do , if at all.
A protest against State interference in relation to these jobs will be held on Monday 7th December 2009 at 4.00pm outside the Clondalkin constituency office of State Minister John Curran (2a Main Street) : supprt your community , support the protest.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2009/11/30/cdp-ji-ce-protest-clondalkin-dublin-monday-30-november-2009/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Dec 09, 2009 20:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
This protest against Community Sector cutbacks was held as stated , on Monday 7th December 2009 , outside the Clondalkin constituency office of Fianna Fail State Minister John Curran : a few days before that protest , Curran was asked to sign a 'Pledge' , offering support to those working in the Community Sector - but he refused to do so :

"Jobs Initiatives support a wide range of community based services including childcare, elder care, drug rehabilitation , youth projects and recycling to name but a few. Real and vital services are provided at a low cost to the state.
The McCarthy Report proposes that the Jobs Initiative scheme be abolished.
If implemented , this cut will have a major impact on workers , projects and communities . Many workers on these projects carry out extremely valuable work within their communities. Without the existence of J.I. many communities would not have the help and support they need. As an elected representative, if you wish to support J.I. workers in their campaign to save their jobs , please pledge your support below.
Your stance on this issue will be communicated to all our members in the Community Sector.
I ________________ support SIPTU's campaign to defend the Jobs Initiative scheme and the workers currently on the scheme."


Curran didn't come out to speak to us , didn't send one of his staff or flunkys out to us and didn't ask us to step in to explain our case to him.
A few words and some pics from the Monday 7th December 2009 Clondalkin picket can be viewed at the 'Related Link' below.
Thanks!
Sharon.

A young protestor from Ronanstown , Clondalkin.
A young protestor from Ronanstown , Clondalkin.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2009/12/09/community-sector-cdp-ji-ce-clondalkin-protest-monday-7th-december-2009/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Dec 18, 2009 00:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!
Despite street protests , petitions and personal calls to the constituency offices of elected Fianna Fail and Green representatives , it was announced on Thursday 17 December 2009 by John Curran (FF) that 29 Community Development Projects will no longer receive State funding from Friday 18 December 2009 and will have to close.
The remaining CDP's will be "integrated" under/with the 'Local Development and Social Inclusion Programme' ; however , it was recently announced by Mr Curran and his colleagues that the budget for this operation has been cut by over €7 million (a 10% cut) .
Those CDP's that appeal this decision will be 'allowed' to continue in operation for at least the next four weeks while their case is being decided - meaning that we have approximately four weeks to seriously increase the pressure and get this unjust decision reversed.
As soon as I become aware of same , I will post the details here regarding any street protests , rally's , pickets etc that are organised with the aim of opposing these cutbacks .
We have lost one fight , not the battle.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Dec 18, 2009 19:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
It now appears that , before the end of January 2010 , thirty-one CDP's throughout the State will have been wound-up , resulting in approximately 300 workers (including JI/CE employees) losing their jobs.
JI and CE workers elsewhere who manage to hold on to their jobs will only do so if they agree to take a five-and-a-half per cent cut in pay and on the understanding that their training and education facilities will be withdrawn.
There is still time to rally against these proposals , and they must be rallied against : the communities that are going to suffer as a result of same will find themselves in the same position they were in in the late 1970's and early 1980's. We can't go back there.
Thanks !
Sharon.

For shame : Cowen looks down on CDP / JI / CE workers.
For shame : Cowen looks down on CDP / JI / CE workers.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2009/11/23/community-sector-protest-23-november-2009-clondalkin-dublin/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Dec 23, 2009 16:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The day before I wrote the above (ie Thursday 17th December 2009) , three Community Sector projects in Clondalkin received notification from the relevant State Department informing them that , after 31st December this year , they will cease to exist.
The three CDP's in question are the North Clondalkin CDP (http://www.activelink.ie/irish/organisation.php?id=512) , the Dolcain Project (http://www.dolcainproject.org/) and Quarryvale House (http://www.mypois.ie/mpoi.php?n=quarryvale-community-ho...40415) .
Those that work(ed) there and those from the local community that availed of the services offered by those three centres are devastated.
Near-by centres in Tallaght (http://www.itmtrav.com/network.html#Dublin) , Ballyfermot (http://www.ideaonline.ie/content/ballyfermot-travellers...oject) and Crumlin (http://www.crumlincdp.com/index2.html) also received those letters , and will be gone by the end of this month.
Talks are on-going between the soon-to-be-unemployed workers and , hopefully , protests against the closures will be organised soon , details of which will be posted on this thread.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Jan 05, 2010 18:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
On Thursday next (7th January 2010) - the first payday after the Christmas break - those still employed by Jobs Initiative throughout the State will find that their wages are €25 lighter than they were in December 2009.
Up to this week , those employees were paid €457 for a 39-hour week but , from this week on (for as long as their jobs last or until they their wages are cut again) they will be paid , 'on paper' , €432 for working the same hours in the same job : income tax and PRSI will be stopped out of that figue.
€25 a week taken from such a small income is the difference between being able to put food on the table or part-pay a bill and not being able to do so . The 'barely-paid' are paying for the mistakes of the 'over-paid' . For shame.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Jan 06, 2010 19:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
Those employed on 'Community Employment' (CE) programmes (who earn even less than JI employees) will now see their wages cut by €12 a week.
A meeting is due to be held next Wednesday (20 January 2010) between trade union officials and the State Department of Finance at which the wage cuts for those still employed in the Community Sector will be discussed. I would suggest that at the very least if these savage wage cuts are not withdrawn then a reduction in the hours worked should be demanded.
Those workers deserve some justice.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Jan 08, 2010 21:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
Today (Friday 8th January 2010) is the imposed State deadline for the receipt of appeals made by CDP management / staff against the decision to close them down. Depending on the amount of appeals received by Mr John Curran and his colleagues (hopefully , 31 such appeals were lodged ?) it could be two weeks or more before a judgement will be announced - and the chances are that most , if not all , of the appeals will be rejected.

There is some talk about a protest against these closures being organised for next Thursday , 14th January 2010 , but nothing concrete yet that I know of. I will post those details on this thread asap.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Jan 27, 2010 22:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The results of the so-called 'Appeals Board' in relation to whether or not to re-open the axed CDP's will be delivered this Friday , 29th January 2010 , to the management committees of those now-closed projects.
The word "irreversible" is expected to feature prominently.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Jan 29, 2010 20:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
This afternoon (Friday 29 January 2010) the management and staff of North Clondalkin CDP ( http://www.activelink.ie/node/270 ) were officially notified that the appeal they had lodged against their closure had been rejected and , as such , they were told to cease operations.
The Chairperson of that CDP , Noreen Byrne ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-yJWNaT_dw ) received a strong verbal tongue-lashing from John Curran (Fianna Fail, Clondalkin) in Leinster House on Wednesday last (27 Jan) for being involved in the many CDP / JI / CE pickets which were held outside his Clondalkin constituency office last year.
Hopefully , now that the 'appeals' process has run its (predetermined) course , more pickets like that will be organised.
The man deserves it.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 23:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
A protest against the recent closures of CDP's will be held this Wednesday , 3rd February 2010 , at 11am , outside Leinster House , Kildare Street , Dublin.
It has been organised by the Eastern Region CDP Core Group and all supportive organisations and individuals are asked to attend. The organisers have requested that no political party banners etc be carried during the protest : those taking part are instead asked to carry and display pro-Community Sector banners etc only.
Hopefully , this will mark the continuation of the protests and pickets that were held last year in relation to this issue.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2009/12/09/community-sector-cdp-ji-ce-clondalkin-protest-monday-7th-december-2009/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Feb 12, 2010 00:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
One of the recently officially 'closed' Community Development Programmes is still managing to operate , thanks to the fantastic efforts put in by the local community itself and by the staff and Board of Management of that CDP.
North Clondalkin CDP , based in Christy Melia House ,24 Neilstown Park, Clondalkin ,Dublin 22
(phone 01-4571744 / Fax: 01-457-5325/ Email: nccdp1@yahoo.ie) has released the following statement -

" Christy Melia House REMAINS OPEN !
The Board of Management would like to inform the
community that North Clondalkin Community
Development Programme remains an active
organisation despite the decision of the Dept. of
Community, Rural & Gaelteacht Affairs to discontinue
our core funding.
The Christy Melia House is still operating as normal,
open 5 days a week to the general public providing the
same service to the community albeit on reduced
resources.
The project has a full complement of staff - Noreen, Aisling , Samantha , Margaret , Denise, Elaine , Carmel and Claudine.
NCCDP will be using the next edition of the BUZZ (magazine) to give
a more detailed account of the Department decision to
discontinue our funding.
THANKS TO ALL WHO SUPPORTED OUR APPEALS
PROCESS AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING
OUR WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH ALL OF YOU ! "


This development shows the strong support for , and in, the local community that this CDP has- and it's not alone in that regard , as testimonials published below on the 'Related Link' can testify to.
Full marks to all concerned with this development - once again , you put those that 'closed you down' to shame.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://www.changingireland.ie/CDPabout.html
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sun Feb 14, 2010 21:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
As an active trade union member myself , I am more times than not left disappointed that the TU leadership seem to be reluctant to draw a line in the sand preferring , instead , to wait and see just how far the 'tide' will encroach. I prefer the 'stitch in time' approach , myself : however - this communication was released last Thursday , 11th February 2010 , by SIPTU :

" SIPTU and IMPACT have called on the Government to enter direct talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) in relation to the recent closure of 14 Community Development Projects (CDP'S).
The projects, all but one of which are based in Dublin, employ community workers and provide essential services to the most vulnerable sections of the population.
In 2009, following an internal review of community projects across the country the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCRGA) removed its funding of 29 projects forcing their closure and the loss of dozens of jobs.
While 10 projects successfully appealed the removal of funding 14 were informed in recent weeks that their appeals had been rejected by the DCRGA.
The trade unions representing community workers, SIPTU and IMPACT, have now called on the Department, as the employer of those who have lost their jobs, to enter immediate and direct discussions at the LRC.
According to SIPTU's Community Sector Branch Organiser, Gerry Flanagan, the review process which resulted in the closure of the 14 projects was
"deeply flawed and biased".

"Since February 1st last the workers in these 14 CDP's have been left in limbo following the withdrawal by the Department of their primary funding. They face the loss of their livelihoods while the most vulnerable communities have lost vital services as the result of a deeply flawed and biased review process," he said.

SIPTU General President, Jack O'Connor, called on the Government to use the established industrial relations machinery of the State and engage with the representatives of the community sector workers.
"The Community Sector is seen by this Government as a soft touch when it comes to cutbacks. Those responsible for these decisions should take note that this slash and burn approach is unacceptable," said Jack O'Connor. "It is essential that the Department engages with the representatives of these community sector workers through the established industrial relations machinery of the State." "

The State department in question has already decided , apparently , that its local so-called 'Partnership' organisations will be used to engage with the Community Sector groupings in any given area , a situation which , in its almost three-year history in the Clondalkin area , is not only not favourable to the Community Sector workers involved in that area , but has proved to be detrimental to the terms and conditions of their employment. The failed Clondalkin 'project' should send warning signals out to all concerned but , as usual , it will take a 'lapping tide' before some take notice. Unfortunately.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individualpublication date Thu Feb 25, 2010 21:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
Over the last two days , SIPTU made submissions to the State 'Labour Relations Commission' in regards to there being a need for an independent review into the recent closure of some CDP's and the 'LRC' has now agreed to refer the matter to the Labour Court .
The State 'Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs' (DCRGA) , which is , effectively, the 'employer' in this situation , has refused to attend the 'LRC' hearing , despite the obvious responsibility it has to those employees. However , whether the DCRGA is represented or not , the fact remains that the criteria used to measure the usefulness of the CDP's is suspect , to say the least , as not one CDP within the State was aware of how they were to be assessed.
This might yet prove to be a valuable development.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Mar 09, 2010 17:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
Another possible (probable?) valuable development - albeit of no use to those who have already lost their jobs in the Community Sector - is the fact that the paperwork has been started to enable cases to be taken under the 'Payment Of Wages Act' as to the legitimacy of the recently imposed wage reductions.
This will involve thousands of separate cases and should be of benefit to those JI and CE employees who have not given explicit permission for their wages to be reduced and whose contracts of employment do not allow for such a reduction ie some JI employees are being asked (to put it mildly) to sign a new contract which , in the section dealing with pay , includes the clause - (or such rate as determined by the funder [FAS] from time to time). Such a clause , if accepted and signed-off on , could interfere with an attempted case under the 'Payment Of Wages Act' .
However - whatever the eventual outcome - it is only right that any and all avenues are pursued to try and keep this issue in the public domain.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sat Mar 27, 2010 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
On Thursday , 25th March 2010 , SIPTU announced that it had formally notified FÁS and the Boards of Management of the schemes where JI and CE workers are still employed of its intention to make pay claims to the 'Rights Commissioner' in this State on behalf of the thousands of low-paid JI and CE workers who , since returning to work after Christmas , find themselves doing the same work in the same hours for less money - €12.70 per week less in the case of CE workers and €25.40 per week less in the case of JI workers. These workers were already on breadline wages before these cuts were imposed , and now find themselves unable to meet financial commitments which they were previously struggling to try and meet.
SIPTU has stated that it is aware of the voluntary nature of the Boards of Management in the sector (ie the sponsor organisation) and of the 100% funding structure through FÁS , and has declared that its issue is with the funder (FÁS) and not with the sponsor organisation.
Due to the nature of these claims (ie on an individual basis) it is expected that this process will not be completed for another few weeks , but it is a welcome move all the same. The imposed wage cuts are unjustified and should be reversed as soon as possible.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Mar 30, 2010 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
Speaking on my own behalf , I want to say that it is my opinion that the recent CPSU 'deal' , if it could be called that, will be used as a benchmark by the 'powers that be' when considering (?) the claim that the December 2009 wage cut for JI and CE employees be reversed. Such a consideration will not be to the benefit of that claim.
I expect that the Union(s) representing JI and CE workers will be told that the possibility of restoring the stolen money will depend on whether the politicians consider it 'within their budget' to do it or not and , if they deem it possible to do it , that it would not be implemented until 2014 and even then I expect the bosses would haggle in regards to what proportion of the missing money would be returned to its rightful owner or perhaps to pay it a bit at a time?
Time will tell , of course , but I , for one , will not be surprised to hear that a 'CPSU Clause' has been enacted in relation to the JI / CE claim.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sat Apr 10, 2010 18:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
It was confirmed recently that the Dublin Inner City Partnership (DICP) [ http://www.dicp.ie/ ] , the main Community Sector co-ordinating and funding body for over 200 local groups and organisations in its area - and which was 'named' in the infamous 'McCarthy Report' [ http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0716/spending.html ] - has had its funding withdrawn by Pobal [ http://www.pobal.ie/WhatWeDo/Pages/CoreActivity.aspx ] which , in effect, means that the DICP will have to cease operations.
As well as local groups and organisations suffering due to this decision , at least 20 other projects , which rely directly on the assistance provided by the DICP , will themselves now be forced to either cut back on the services they provide or close down completely.
The poor and disadvantaged continue to be made pay for the mistakes , greed and incompetence of the 'elite' .
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Apr 14, 2010 22:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.....in the Community Sector-


Notice from the National Community Development Forum.
Protecting Community Development in Disadvantaged Areas: Should we Tear up the Railway Tracks?
Seminar Notice
April 22nd, Liberty Hall

Considerable resources have been invested in community development as a means of understanding and responding to social exclusion and poverty in disadvantaged areas and amongst disadvantaged groups in Ireland.

The history of the Community Development Programme in particular is one of building up a social and economic infrastructure in the most deprived areas – involving the most disadvantaged in a process that allows for ongoing needs assessment and the development of appropriate and effective local responses to social exclusion and poverty issues.

It is easy enough to calculate this investment in financial terms. It is a bit more difficult to quantify the resources invested in terms of the thousands of volunteers who have given their time and expertise to managing and delivering local projects, services and programmes. These thousand of volunteer hours prove excellent value for money and contribute hugely to the stabilisation of the local community structure by providing focus, services and responses where they are needed most.
It is deeply worrying to imagine the inevitable cost that will result if this whole infrastructure is dismantled; if the ‘spaces’ created for the most excluded to participate are closed down; and if all the volunteers now involved in managing and delivering projects are told they are no longer required.

These are the precise fears of those now (still) involved in the Community Development Programme and the key question in a planned Seminar to be held later this month. Prevailing wisdom many years ago convinced the powers that be of the value in dismantling the railway infrastructure across the country. It is now costing a lot more to re-open it bit by bit. Does the new ‘integrated’ approach put forward for the new Local and Community Development Programme mean that we are ‘tearing up the tracks’ and demolishing the stations? What will the consequences be for the people who need these the most? What will the cost be of ‘fixing’ the community breakdown that happens as a result? How much will it cost to rebuild in the future? We may even find the money sometime in the future to replace the tracks and the stations. But will we ever be able to convince the volunteers to re-engage after they have been 'summararily' dismissed?

At the broader policy level, how can the very worthwhile and necessary objectives of the Local and Community Development Programme be most effectively delivered? Can we be sure that services delivered in a more centralized way actually benefit those most in need? Will the most disadvantaged access them if there is no secure space, no outreach, no explanations locally, no trusted local workers and volunteers to mediate the information and the messages? Without this, will services be accessed by those who actually need them least – therefore increasing rather than decreasing inequalities? Will there be an increase in the need for secondary services like social workers, mental health responses? Will there be an increase in drug use, crime and prison spaces? These are the very real fears of those who have been working at the coal-face of disadvantaged areas for many years.

The National CDP Forum, in conjunction with Nexus Research and the Community Workers Co-operative, are hosting a seminar to look in more detal at these questions. We have invited Dr. Dione Hills, from the Tavistock Institute in London, to provide some insight into how similar challenges were faced in the UK. Dione Hills has an international reputation for evaluation, assessment and review work, with a particular focus on community/voluntary and statutory partnerships in tackling social exclusion.
The Seminar will take place in Liberty Hall on Thursday 22nd April 2010: 9.30am to 4.30pm. Please keep this date free in your diary. More details and booking form to follow.
All CDPs and Partnerships are invited to attend.

Cathleen O'Neill
Kilbarrack CDP
0877506188


---------------------------- -------------------------- --------------------------

CALL FOR ACTION TO SUPPORT DUBLIN INNER CITY PARTNERSHIP.
Dublin inner city Community Organisations and SIPTU Trade Union have called on the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey TD, to intervene urgently to prevent the closure of the Dublin Inner City Partnership (DICP).

The Dublin Inner City Partnership (DICP) has been to the forefront in tackling long term unemployment and acute poverty in the inner city for almost twenty years. It has been recognised as among the most successful partnerships in the country and has developed and worked through a local community infrastructure that now includes twenty community organisations delivering a wide range of effective services and activities to inner city residents in the most disadvantaged areas.

The Board of Pobal has decided to end the present contract with the DICP on 30th May 2010. The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (CRAGA) have been pursuing the retrenchment and realignment of community and local development structures for the past number of years. These efforts intensified last year and pressure was placed on Pobal to find a means to do this. Recently Pobal officials informed inner city community organisations that Pobal management intended to replace the DICP with an alternative coordinating structure by June 2010. This was before the Pobal Board had made any decision in relation to the DICP contract.

In December 2009 CRAGA instructed Pobal to undertake a review of DICP. The Department then used the review as the rational to withdraw the funding, without warning and before DICP was allowed a right to reply. However as soon as the DICP received the report in January 2010 the Board and Staff acted promptly to respond comprehensively to the issues raised and quickly dealt with the priority requirements identified by Pobal.

As a result; (i) the DICP Board approved salary reductions for DICP staff and for staff employed in organisations supported by DICP; (ii)the DICP Board adopted the Pobal operations manual as the sole source for policies and procedures and (iii) a comprehensive action plan was set out addressing each issue raised in the audit with timelines for delivery and full implementation by end of April 2010. Despite the fact that all the demands made by Pobal were met by DICP the Pobal Board on 1st April 2010 decided to end the present contract by 30th May 2010.

This decision by Pobal has serious consequences for the inner city. The closure of the DICP will result in the lay-off of the four highly skilled, experienced and committed workers; the future of the four Local Employment Centres with sixteen staff is put at risk; the seven community organisations, with twelve workers that provide the core infrastructure to DICP will be under the direct control of Pobal from April and the Department’s proposed new Local Community Development Programme (LCDP) could have serious implications for the future of seven Community Development projects with their twelve workers to be transferred into the new programme.

The DICP has been a strong advocate to Government for many years in response to the scale of persistent poverty and disadvantage in the inner city. Many new approaches and initiatives have been successfully developed. A vibrant community infrastructure has been built involving local residents which the DICP has fought to protect against cut backs and closures.

A gross injustice is being perpetrated here. There is no justification to close the DICP, other than the deliberate destruction of an independent community based organisation that has provided leadership and support for inner city communities for almost twenty years.

This call to action is being supported by the Inner City community networks with over 120 organisations, by the Community Development Projects and the many other community organisations across the city who have offered solidarity. We would appreciate your support also.

Community Workers' Co-Operative,
Unit 4 First Floor, Tuam Road Centre, Tuam Road, Galway, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)91 779 030 Mobile +353 (0)87 9326467
Fax: +353 (0) 91 779 033
Email: annirwin@cwc.ie
General e-mail: info@cwc.ie Website: www.cwc.ie


Thanks for reading,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Apr 28, 2010 20:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

On Tuesday , 4th May 2010, at 7pm , a meeting will be held in Liberty Hall for JI and CE workers employed in Dublin City Centre ;

On Wednesday 5th May 2010, at 7pm, a meeting will be held in St. Helenas Resource Centre , St. Helena's Road , Finglas , for JI and CE workers employed in the Finglas/Ballymun area ;

Also on Wednesday 5th May 2010 , at 7pm, a meeting will be held in Ronanstown Youth Services building , Neilstown Road , Clondalkin, for JI and CE workers employed in the Clondalkin and Tallaght areas ;

And , also on that same Wednesday (5th May 2010) , at 7pm, a meeting will be held at Mountwood/Fitzgerald CDP , Fitzgerald Park , Dún Laoire , for JI and CE workers employed in the Dún Laoire area ;

On Thursday , 6th May 2010 , at 7pm , a meeting will be held in Darndale/Belcamp Village Centre , Darndale , for JI and CE workers employed in that area of Dublin.

All of the above-mentioned meetings have been organised by SIPTU , and are being held to update SIPTU JI / CE members on the latest news re the appeals lodged against the January 2010 wage deductions.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Jun 03, 2010 23:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
A meeting for the remaining JI / CE / CDP workers (families also welcome) will be held in Liberty Hall on Wednesday the 9th June 2010 at 7pm , to discuss the present state of play re CDP's and other community-based organisations, and to allow those still in employment in this sector to vent their anger at the position they have been placed in by the uncaring , selfish and short-sighted administration in Leinster House.

On Thursday , 10th June 2010, a meeting organised by State Minister for the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey , will be held , with the following agenda -
· How to assess the assets of the project (many of these assets were as result of communities fundraising and were accumulated with no State aid)
· How to assess a project liability.
· How to transfer assets and liabilities from their project to the local Partnership Company.
· How to wind down their companies.

What is needed , however, is a meeting to discuss how the remaining Local and Community Development Programmes could be put on an equal footing with the Partnership Companies in order to retain their 'company' structure ,retain their assets (and liabilities) and retain their independence, autonomy and accountability - in other words , a meeting to discuss how CDP / JI / CE structures can be rebuilt and reinforced, not to discuss how 'best' they can be finished off.
This short-sighted administration is too 'penny wise and pound foolish' to recognise that fact, unfortunately.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Jul 01, 2010 23:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.....of DUBLIN INNER CITY PARTNERSHIP (DICP).

Final statement by Board of Directors :

"It is with great regret and sadness that the Board of Directors of the Dublin Inner City Partnership (DICP) announces the winding up of the company after almost twenty years serving the residents and communities in the inner city area of Dublin. This decision has arisen solely as a consequence of the decision of the Board of Pobal to end the contract for the delivery of the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP) in the inner city. As a result of the closure four highly skilled and committed staff who have served the Partnership for twelve, fifteen and nineteen years respectively will be laid off and the eighteen local development and community based organisations connected to the DICP will be left without the strategic leadership, focus, support and encouragement provided by the DICP Board and Staff.

It has been widely acknowledged that the DICP has had a major and sustained impact on improving the personal development, employment prospects and living conditions for many residents of the area over these years. From the beginning the Partnership adopted an innovative approach of building the capacity and expertise at a local community level to ensure that there was a high level of participation from local people in addressing the issues that affected them and to ensure also that any changes achieved would be sustainable in the longer term.

The present Directors also wish to record their acknowledgement of the large number of people who have served on the Board of the DICP since its establishment in 1991. Each of these sectoral representatives brought an unique insight to addressing and resolving the acute social and economic issues that affected the inner city communities. Their contribution and commitment on a voluntary basis is deeply appreciated. The success of the strategies adopted and the range and variety of innovations, initiatives and community and statutory projects is a monument to their achievement.

The DICP Board takes this opportunity to record our appreciation for the major contribution the four DICP staff members, and previous staff, have made over their long years of faithful service while working within the Partnership's unique ethos. Since 1991 the staff skills in leading, activating, managing, advocating, nurturing and administering DICP strategic actions and measures are well documented. Such evidence indicates the staff's commitment to the original DICP ideals of combating social exclusion of inner city disadvantaged residents and local communities.

The professional yet sensitive insight of the DICP staff combined with their wide experience, exceptional expertise and range of professional knowledge of the Dublin inner city social territory is verification of the scope of the staff's involvement in informing initiatives and services at local, national or international level. The staff's individual willingness to engage effectively in such a wide range of anti-poverty activities meant that a very significant contribution by the Partnership's staff was made to supporting DICP beneficiaries and local communities."


(Approved by DICP Board, 29th June 2010.
The staff of the DICP are members of SIPTU)

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Georgepublication date Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello sharon
fair play to you and your organisation for the work ye are putting in to this, but it doesnt look like its gonna change anything?
the JI and CE workers are still gonna be hammered by the politicans but at least someone is trying to do something about it 'cause the unions sure dont seem to be doing anything?
fair play again to ye for at least trying
G

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Jul 07, 2010 22:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi George !
Thanks for taking the time to read the thread and leave a comment - I sometimes feel that I'm talking to myself here !
The remaining JI , CE and SE employees are up against FAS , various controlling (or soon-to-be controlling) so-called 'Partnership' organisations and , unfortunately , their own trade unions , who are 'fighting fires' as they develop , rather than taking the offensive.
A good example of the position that JI workers , for instance , now find themselves in can be seen in the fact that , in 2007 , take-home pay (nett pay) averaged €423.86 cents per week whereas today , three years later , that figure is €425.96 cents - two Euro and ten cents more than they earned three years ago.
It's a long , hard campaign to try and obtain justice for these workers, true enough , but they deserve it.
We'll keep going !
Thanks again ,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sat Jul 31, 2010 17:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
This issue has still not been satisfactorily resolved and , despite the fact that it has been 'low key' of late , activities are still taking place behind the scenes.
For instance , on Wednesday 29th September 2010 , a protest march through Dublin City Centre will be held , to remind the Leinster House elite (for whom that day will be their first day back at 'work' after their summer holidays!) that communities are still suffering the effects of the cutbacks which they imposed on us.
The details of that trade-union organised protest march will be posted here in the near future and, between now and that protest , other events will be arranged. Full details will be posted on this thread as soon as possible.
Thanks!
Sharon.

A Trade Union-organised protest re Community Sector cutbacks will be held in Dublin on Wed 29th Sept 2010.
A Trade Union-organised protest re Community Sector cutbacks will be held in Dublin on Wed 29th Sept 2010.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Aug 06, 2010 20:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The following statement was released on Thursday 5th August 2010 , by Darragh O' Connor , SIPTU Community Sector Organiser :

Government targets lone parents and people with disabilities :
"The consequences of this decision would be to effectively deny lone parents and people with disabilities the opportunity to seek training, education and to improve their lives. It would also have a major impact on community projects and services.
CE is the backbone of the Community Sector employing 20,000 people. The removal of welfare entitlements will have a major impact on staffing levels and the sustainability of projects.
In particular, Community Childcare will be severely impacted as 25% of staff are CE workers, with a high proportion dependent on welfare allowances.

The loss of skilled CE workers will inevitably have severe consequences for community services and programmes.
SIPTU members have begun a campaign to challenge these proposals and have been lobbying TDs to highlight the issues.
A formal campaign launch will be held on Monday, 20th September in Liberty Hall in conjunction with disability and one parent family organisations including OPEN."

(O.P.E.N. - http://www.oneparent.ie/)
I post it here for the record.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://siptucommunicationsdepartment.newsweaver.ie/newsletter/x8v2iu57ah01ugto3sp14z
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Aug 24, 2010 15:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!

The following notice was released by David Connolly, Chairperson of the Community Sector & Trade Union Campaign Steering group , in relation to a meeting which that group held on 18th August 2010 -

Dear Colleague,
The overall purpose and objective of the Campaign was agreed and a series of events and actions to end of December 2010 were discussed and agreed. Given the serious challenge posed by the forthcoming Government Budget it was decided to concentrate our collective efforts on raising awareness of the implications of severe cuts prior to the budget; seeking to protect vulnerable local communities by preventing the Government from announcing further reductions in funding of community based services and activities and mobilising maximum resistance at a community level and nationally, to the implementation of any cuts that impact on local jobs and services in the Community sector.

The initial headline events agreed for the next four months include:
1. Project open week (local people and TDs invited to meet local projects) 30th August-3rd September (continuing)

2. Discourse event Liberty Hall, (presentation of facts and analysis of impact and launch of new joint campaign) Wednesday 15th September, aimed at mobilising community/ trade union activists to organise campaign.

3. Day of action locally and nationally ( series of local events in multiple locations and protest rallies in each city), Wednesday 29th September 2010.

Further discussion is to take place in identifying suitable actions for October and November culminating in a major community response to the budget announcements. It was further agreed at the meeting that immediate contact would be made with the leadership of each of the three Trade unions involved, SIPTU, IMPACT and UNITE, to seek their active support and protection for the sector in the current circumstances and to obtain the resources necessary to mount this campaign. Contact will also be made with ICTU to propose that the Community sector day of action be linked to the planned EU wide trade union action on the same date.

The next meeting of the Campaign Steering Group is on Wednesday 1st September 2010 at 11am in the NEC room, Liberty Hall. Please note also the Liberty Hall meeting and campaign launch on 15th September 2010.


It is expected that the December 2010 State budget will be as harsh on the Community Sector as the 2009 budget was - if enough CDP/ JI/ CE etc workers make their voices heard over the next few weeks , it may be possible to lessen that impact.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Aug 26, 2010 22:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!
The following statement was released on Tuesday 24th August 2010 by Darragh O'Connor,
Community Sector Lead Organiser, SIPTU , Liberty Hall, Dublin 1 :

Defending Ireland’s Communities :
Protecting local jobs and services-


The Government has confirmed that the Community and Voluntary (C and V) sector will be the principal target for severe cuts in the forthcoming December 2010 budget. While the sector is varied and diverse, there are common strengths between 1,000s of organisations; they are cost effective, deliver local solutions to local problems and support some of the most vulnerable people within Irish society. These vital services include childcare, eldercare, youth work, social inclusion, drug rehabilitation, disability, literacy, education & training to name a few. The C and V sector is a core element of Ireland’s economy employing over 64,000 people and accounting for 8.4% of GDP.

Over 2009 / 2010 the C and V sector suffered headline cuts of 18% - 20%. Organisations have absorbed these cuts through redundancies, 3 day weeks, pay cuts and service reductions. The C and V sector has again been targeted to suffer disproportionate budget cuts in the 2011 and 2012 budgets; it is estimated that these additional and extensive funding reductions will result in an initial 5,000 jobs losses and the closure of many local services. Simply put, the C and V sector cannot absorb further cuts and will be severely undermined during an economic crisis when it is most needed!

What will this mean for local communities?

- Rural and urban projects built by local communities to solve local problem are being deliberately targeted by Government.

- Reduced services for those suffering from the economic recession including the unemployed, homeless, elderly and families struggling to survive.

- People living in areas of disadvantage will see a reduction and loss of vital services. This will push families and communities in areas of disadvantage into greater poverty.

- What will be the implications for your project?

What do we want as part of the joint Community Sector and Trade Union Campaign?

- The cessation and reversal of funding cuts to the Community and Voluntary Sector.

- Recognise and acknowledge that the community and voluntary sector is key to delivering vital services, particularly those dealing with poverty, unemployment and inequality.

- A commitment from the Government and the Department of Finance to meaningfully negotiate, engage with and consult the relevant Trade Unions, and other stakeholders in relation to future support and development of the sector.

- What are the demands of your local project?

What can your local TD do?

- Sign the Pledge to oppose cuts in the Community and Voluntary Sector.

- Write to the Minister for Finance and relevant ministers outlining the demands above and your own projects concerns.
END.

Community Sector employees in the Clondalkin area of Dublin are organising a local protest to be held on the morning of Wednesday 29th September 2010 and will then be making their way into Dublin city centre for the main 2pm protest - more information re the Clondalkin protest will be announced on this thread in the near future.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Aug 30, 2010 23:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The following three 'plans of action' are trade union based , and have recently been emailed to all remaining CDP's , JI , CE and SE workers -

1)
Dear Public Representative,
We are requesting you publically pledge your support for the “Defending Ireland’s Communities” campaign to safe guard vital community services and programmes against proposed budget cuts.

Name:_________________________________________

Public Title:____________________________________

Constituency:__________________________________

Political Party/Ind:______________________________

Please feel free to make any comments of support to the campaign :


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2)
Defending Ireland’s Communities is joint Community & Voluntary Sector, Trade Union (SIPTU, IMPACT, UNITE), and Employer campaign to protect vital community based services and jobs.

PROJECT ADDRESS-

NAME OF POLITICIAN-

ADDRESS-

DATE-

Re: (NAME OF PROJECT) Open Week

Dear (NAME)

As part of the national “Defending Ireland’s Communities” campaign we will be holding an Open Week in the (NAME OF PROJECT) from the 6th to the 10th of September. We would like to invite you to visit our project in order for you to see and gain an understanding of the valuable work we carry out within this community. FOR EXAMPLE. Over the past …. We have already suffered a dramatic decrease in funding which has meant that….. Any further cuts to our project would be detrimental. Currently all news and Dáil reports are indicating that recommendations made in last year’s McCarthy report is again being given serious consideration for the next budget. This report was damming for the Community Sector, if its recommendations for cuts and savings are taken on board the community sector would be decimated.

We feel that at these times of unprecedented hardship the Community Sector is now more essential than ever. The “Defending Ireland’s Communities” campaign would like to highlight to you what further cuts in the community sector would mean in your local constituency. In your visit we hope that you will be able to see for yourself how valuable our project is in the local community. You will have the opportunity to meet with people directly involved with our project and we will be able to discuss what you can do to help us.

Please let us know which day and time you will be available to visit by contacting (NAME) at the above number.

Yours sincerely,
(Your name and details here).


----------------------------------------------------------------

3)

SIPTU Defending Ireland’s Communities Campaign.

Open Week for Politicians :

As part of the “Defending Ireland’s Communities” campaign it was decided that Community Projects hold an open week in which they invite their local politicians to attend their projects. The aim of this is firstly to ensure that politicians have a clear view of some of the valuable work being carried out by the community sector within their own local communities. Furthermore it gives them a ‘human face’ for the cuts which makes it more difficult for them to ignore. Finally, it gives us the opportunity to lobby and highlight our message to the politicians.

Below are the guidelines from which projects should work, this campaign will be more effective if all projects are following a template and using the same messages.

Before the Event -

Send an invitation for the ‘open week’ to all your local politicians, both those in government and members of the opposition parties. See draft invitation attached-please insert specific details of your own project and the letter should be signed by the chairperson on the board of the particular community project.
Follow-up: It is very important that somebody within your organisation is nominated to follow-up after the letter is sent. Allow three days for the politician to receive the letter and then follow-up with a phone call asking them what day and time they will be attending your open week. Use all of your contacts, if somebody within your organisation is already involved in or has a relationship with a political party encourage them to use their influence in order to ensure the politician will attend. It may not be possible for all politicians to visit during the ‘open week’ be sure to invite them at a different time, or suggest that it may be more convenient if your group (3-4 people) were to visit them at their constituency office.

On the Day -

This is an ‘open week’ in order to allow for a flexibility of days to suit politicians, however do ensure that you get them to commit to a particular day and time in order to ensure that you are prepared for their visit.
Make sure that on the day of the visit the centre is busy and all facilities within the centre are being used e.g. training rooms, computers etc. It is very important that service users are present within the project.
The chairperson should welcome the politician and either they or the coordinator should give a brief summary of the project and its positive effects within the community.
It is also essential that a person who accesses the service of the project or has done so in the past talks to the politician. Ideally this will highlight the strength of the project and the community sector in general e.g. to me this project means, if it were not for this project, because of this project. The stronger the story the more impact it will have, these stories are essential as this is what will stay in the politician’s mind.
It is important that everything keeps to the message and is very clear and simple. Avoid being too specific as you will lose the broader message. Highlight that your project is just one of many in similar situations. Always relate everything back to the local constituency and in simple terms what it would mean if this project were to suffer more cuts. Test your message on somebody who does not have much knowledge of the project, oftentimes what seems clear and important to those working closely with the project is not relevant or clear to others.
Give the politician a copy of the Community Briefing sheet and also the document on ‘what they can do for us’
Ask them to commit to the suggestions that we have made on what they can do.
Ask them for their own input on how we can further develop the campaign or make it more successful.
Make sure that you take photographs of the politicians whilst they visit your project as these can be used for further publicity on the campaign.
When the politician is ready to leave, thank them for their time and support. Finish the meeting on a positive note with something they can do for you. Acknowledge to them that you understand that they are under great pressure, however make sure that they realise the urgency and severity of what further cuts to the sector would mean.

After the Visit -

Write to the politicians who attended and thank them for their support.
Send a press release to your local media inviting them to attend the open day
If there is any follow-up required with politicians make sure to do so
Keep your local union organiser informed of how the event went and also if any further ideas emerge from the visits (alternatively e-mail organising@siptu.ie)


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Also , it has been mentioned that the 'Work For Dole' scheme , as proposed by Éamon Ó Cuív , will eventually lead to the phasing out of Job Initiative, Community Employment and Social Economy workers.
The Community Sector still has a fight on its hands.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Sep 02, 2010 23:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
It seems that at a meeting in Liberty Hall yesterday (Wed 1st Sept 2010) a decision was made that SIPTU will not be officially represented at the above-mentioned protest because , apparently , SIPTU bosses are not confident that enough of its members would take part.
It was mentioned that other Congress-affiliated trade unions will be present and individual SIPTU members should still attend - however , knowing that their own union is only 'luke warm' in regards to this day of action may very well influence those members in making a decision on whether to attend or not.
In my opinion , SIPTU and the other Congress-affiliated trade unions should have contacted the management in the organisations where their members work and told them that their members will be absent that day due to official trade union business and any imposed sanctions on those workers will not be tolerated.
Instead , this decision by SIPTU bosses is a step in the opposite direction.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Sep 10, 2010 19:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!

An 'Open Day' was held by 'CEEDS' (http://www.ceeds.ie/?Contact=1) in Aras Rualach , North Clondalkin, Dublin, yesterday (Thursday 9th September 2010) , which was offered as an opportunity for local politicians to meet the staff (including CE and JI workers) who, between them , somehow manage to keep the centre itself 'ticking over'.

Three politicians replied favourably to the invite offered , stating their intention to attend - John Curran (FF) , Paul Gogarty (Greens) and Frances Fitzgerald (FG) : in the event , Mr Curran and Mr Gogarty turned-up , as did Joanna Tuffy (Labour) and Gus O' Connell (Independent), but M/S Fitzgerald was a 'no-show' . Also in attendance were members of the local Maire Drumm / Kevin Barry Cumann of Republican Sinn Féin Poblachtach , one of whom - wearing his JI 'cap' - outlined, in a five minute address to the meeting, how important JI and CE workers are to Community Centres like Aras Rualach , and to the many community-run creches etc in the area.

Staff members present , other JI and CE workers at the meeting , members of the public (and the politicians!) in the room voiced their agreement with that speaker when, after briefly outlining his own involvement with CE and JI in the Clondalkin area, he stated bluntly that the community-based buildings , groups and services in the Clondalkin area will either close altogether or, at the very least, be forced to 'scale back' what they can offer if any more staff and/or financial cutbacks are imposed on that sector.

The Chairperson of the Maire Drumm / Kevin Barry RSF Cumann handed a letter of protest to the politicians present , and members of the public and others at the meeting handed-in their own letters of protest : the RSF letter read -

Thursday , 9th September 2010.
RE - COMMUNITY SECTOR (JI / CE / SE) CUTBACKS .
The threatened closure of Community Sector-based jobs will be felt in Clondalkin more so than in any other part of the State , as there are more than 50 JI employees alone based in over 30 community organisations in the area. The types of projects supported range from football clubs, community centres, educational services and caring organisations. JI employees provide relevant and essential supports to their sponsor organisations such as childcare, caretaking, maintenance, security and administration/clerical roles and, were it not for the input of JI and CE staff , those projects would not function as they now do , if at all.
Considerable resources have been invested in community development as a means of understanding and responding to social exclusion and poverty in disadvantaged areas and amongst disadvantaged groups in the State.

The history of the Community Development Programme in particular is one of building up a social and economic infrastructure in the most deprived areas – involving the most disadvantaged in a process that allows for ongoing needs assessment and the development of appropriate and effective local responses to social exclusion and poverty issues.
It is easy enough to calculate this investment in financial terms. It is a bit more difficult to quantify the resources invested in terms of the thousands of volunteers and low-paid workers who have given their time and expertise to managing and delivering local projects, services and programmes. These thousand of hours prove excellent value for money and contribute hugely to the stabilisation of the local community structure by providing focus, services and responses where they are needed most.
It is deeply worrying to imagine the inevitable cost that will result if this whole infrastructure is dismantled - if the 'spaces' created for the most excluded to participate are closed down - and if all the volunteers and low-paid workers now involved in managing and delivering projects are told they are no longer required.

A good example of the position that JI workers , for instance , now find themselves in can be seen in the fact that , in 2007 , take-home pay (nett pay) averaged €423.86 cents per week whereas today , three years later , that figure is €425.96 cents - two Euro and ten cents more than they earned three years ago. Also , CE workers now earn 12 Euro less per week than they did in December 2009.

The Leinster House administration has confirmed that the Community and Voluntary (C and V) sector will be the principal target for severe cuts in the forthcoming December 2010 State budget and, considering that in the time period to date ie between 2009 / 2010, the 'C and V' sector suffered headline cuts of 18% - 20% , it is obvious that these organisations have absorbed enough 'pain' , as these cuts were obtained through redundancies, 3 day weeks, pay cuts and service reductions.
They were not over-paid employees to start with , and they cannot afford to be made pay for the mistakes and incompetence of State politicians and their business friends.
Republican Sinn Féin Poblachtach in Clondalkin , and throughout this State , will continue to support the Community Sector workers as they face into even more undeserved vicious cutbacks.

Signed -
Matt Mullen (Chairperson)

Maire Drumm/Kevin Barry Cumann ,
Republican Sinn Féin Poblachtach ,
Clondalkin,
Dublin 22.


I think it should also be recorded that Mr Paul Gogarty (Greens) , whilst being questioned by concerned JI and CE workers at the meeting , got a bit 'heated' and "...done a Stagg.." [ie he used the word 'f**k'] during his objections to being questioned in such a manner !

More photographs and text can be viewed at the 'Related Link' below.
Thanks!
Sharon.

RSF protest : " JI/CE paying for the greed of the Fatcats..." - Clondalkin , Thursday 9th September 2010.
RSF protest : " JI/CE paying for the greed of the Fatcats..." - Clondalkin , Thursday 9th September 2010.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2010/09/10/community-sector-cdp-ji-ce-open-day-clondalkin-dublin-thursday-9th-september-2010/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sun Sep 26, 2010 19:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

......Wednesday 29th September 2010 have been made by most CDP's , JI and CE workers in Dublin Mid-West.

Hi!

Whilst the hoped-for local protest will not now be held (it was suggested that a picket be held at Newlands Cross on Wednesday morning) there has been a good reaction and feedback from the Community Sector in this area of Dublin for attending the Dublin City Centre protest , and most of the local CDP , JI and CE workers will be present outside Anglo Irish Bank between 12 Noon and half-past the hour , and will be involved in the parade to Leinster House.
It was mentioned by these workers , on more than one occasion , that their trade union , SIPTU, should have contacted the sponsors/employers in the area (and overall) and notified them that their members will be taking that afternoon , if not the full day , off work , and that any attempt to penalise those workers for doing so would not be tolerated by the union concerned.
SIPTU did not do that and our information is that not one trade union (ICTU-affiliated or not) was in contact with the sponsors/employers regarding that issue - in short , it is left up to the individual him/herself to attend the protest and defend themselves as best they can afterwards , if financially penalised and/or otherwise victimised for taking that time off work.
That 'omission' on the part of the trade unions involved will not help in ensuring a good turn out.
However - this blog will be there on the day , marching with the RSF group.
Hoping for a good turnout.
Thanks!
Sharon.

RSF 'Community Sector' placard for Wed 29th Sept 2010.
RSF 'Community Sector' placard for Wed 29th Sept 2010.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by markpublication date Sun Sep 26, 2010 21:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors



AND ..Ce workers average is just that of the dole,thanks to the recent cuts,there are no job oppurtunities as the CE workers are there to provide local businesses with FREE LABOUR,with that enviornment how are the government going to attract tax paying jobs,with this FAS dead money?

And why do these politicians have these clinics,they cost money,they should be shut down,tot up the cost of each local politicians clinic,it goes into the billions,YES BILLIONS WE DO NOT HAVE.

What is the function of these clinics,why can't they work out of their own homes or their own office spaces?

This extravagance cost the tax payer dearly,there are lots of things like this we as tax paying public are overlooking,and sometimes making the wrong assumptions,they do not need these clinics,and very little gets done in them,from what i have seen,if the t.d or local politician you want to contact is in the phonebook,or has an email that should be enough.
Fianna Fail failed us as they brought us no job protection just look at siptu and all the corruption there..
FAS is just a scam,and doesnt generate any money,just props the dead up..

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Sep 29, 2010 20:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

Most of the Community Sector protestors went straight to Leinster House to hold an anti-cutbacks protest , whilst some others joined-in with their ICTU colleagues at Anglo Irish Bank and marched from there to Leinster House.
A brief report and a few pics can be viewed at the 'Related Link' below.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Protest against State cutbacks , Dublin , Wednesday 29 September 2010.
Protest against State cutbacks , Dublin , Wednesday 29 September 2010.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2010/09/29/protest-against-state-imposed-cutbacks-dublin-wednesday-29th-september-2010/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Oct 20, 2010 18:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

North Clondalkin Community Development Programme will be holding a 'Sale of Work' and a cake sale on Thursday the 21st of October 2010 from 11am to 1pm , and tea and coffee will be on offer to all who attend.
The proceeds from these events will go towards organising a programme of activities for Halloween 2010 including a Family Fun Day , a Community Safety Morning and a games afternoon.
All support would be much appreciated.
More details can be obtained at the following address and phone number and by clicking-on the 'Related Link' below.

North Clondalkin Community Development Programme,
Christy Melia House,
24 Neilstown Park,
Clondalkin,
Dublin 22.
( 01-4571744 )
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://www.activelink.ie/node/270
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Oct 29, 2010 22:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

State-wide , according to figures obtained on Thursday , 21st October 2010 by Community Sector workers in Clondalkin from the State Department of Social Protection, there are 23,000 people in CE jobs , 1,000 of whom work with 'Drugs Task Force' agencies.
4,914 of those workers are lone parents , and a further 5,355 are workers with disabilities. There are 15 venues in the Clondalkin area in which 309 CE workers are employed , under the supervision of 16 supervisors and 8 assistant supervisors.

According to the above source, from a JI / CE budget of €34.5 million for this year, FÁS paid 1,329 full-time JI workers throughout the State, 46 of whom are under the management of the local 'Partnership' organisation in Clondalkin , and employed in about 30 community organisations in the Dublin 22 area.

FÁS has stated that there are currently "no plans to reduce the numbers" that are working in JI / CE jobs - but the State budget in December 2010 may have something to say about that...
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Nov 08, 2010 19:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

On Saturday 27th November 2010 , Community Sector workers in Clondalkin will be joining thousands of other workers (plus unemployed people , students , pensioners etc - hopefully!) at 12 Noon , outside the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square , Dublin, to join the ICTU-organised 'Anti-budget/cutbacks' protest march.
From what we are hearing now , it seems that this protest march will make its way from Parnell Square to Kildare Street , where a rally will be held.
More comment at the 'Related Link' below.
Thanks !
Sharon.

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2010/11/07/anti-state-budget-protest-dublin-27th-november-2010/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Nov 11, 2010 13:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

It appears that management in FÁS have sent a verbal directive to the committees and/or sponsor groups that are in charge of community creches , community centres and other 'not-for-profit' organisations in which JI and CE workers are employed stating that materials which, up to now, were 'cleared' for use once a proper receipt was handed over are now to be used more sparingly , if at all.
Specifically mentioned in this 'request' was an instruction that lightbulbs which are not in staff areas , toilet rolls which are used in public-access toilets (ie non staff areas) and sanitary towel bins which are in premises in which the staff themselves , including JI and CE employees , have no need for because of their age , are not now to be paid for from the (reduced) budget which that premises will be expected to survive on.
I am trying to get a printed version of this directive , but no luck to date.
Also , what is being billed as a 'Community Spectacle' , involving CDP , JI and CE workers, amongst others, is in the process of being organised by the trade union movement for Friday 10th December 2010 : this event will be held in Dublin , and we will post details re same on this thread as soon as we know more.
Thanks for reading!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The assembly point for the ICTU-organised Dublin protest on Saturday 27th November 2010 is the Civic Offices on Wood Quay , at 12 Noon , and not Parnell Square , as I stated above. And the protestors will be marching (from Wood Quay) to the GPO in O'Connell Street , and not Kildare Street , as stated.
Apologises.
Also - the above-mentioned 'Community Spectacle' (to be held in Dublin on Friday 10th December 2010) will include floats , drummers , stilt-walkers etc.
More information regarding same will be posted on this thread when it becomes available.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The date and assembly point are as posted , above (Saturday 27th November , Wood Quay) - but the starting time is now 11.30am , and not 12 Noon , as I had stated.
Apologises again.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

This is part of a circular which was distributed today by SIPTU -
"The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called for a major national demonstration for Saturday 27th November 2010. Gathering at 11am at Wood Quay, Dublin , the demostration will commence at 12 noon proceeding along the south Quays to a rally at the GPO on O'Connell Street .
The Community Sector & Trade Union Campaign has fully endorsed this call to action and is urging all community workers, activists, volunteers and service users to participate in this important demonstration against the budget. It is important that all residents of the targeted communities, families and individuals; young and old, are encouraged and facilitated to participate in this demonstration of the anger of the people...."


RSF will be present at the GPO on that day and, hopefully, other Republican groups will be represented, too.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Nov 16, 2010 18:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

A JI/CE 'Celebration Day' , organised by CEI ('Partnership') in Clondalkin , Dublin , was held yesterday (Monday 15th November 2010) in Knockmitten Community Centre in Woodford , Clondalkin.
Some of the local Job Initiative and Community Employment workers that had completed training courses were awarded laminated parchments in recognition of their achievement - the awards were read-out by a management representative from Clondalkin 'Local Employment Service' , and John Curran (FF) handed-over the parchment to the participant concerned.
It was politely made clear to Mr Curran , on more than one occasion over the course of the event , that the community centre that he was standing in could not have opened at all were it not for the fact that JI and CE workers were employed there , and will not be able to operate as it is now, if at all, should those workers be either scaled back or removed by FÁS.
He was told in no uncertain terms that other community centres in the area face the same problem , as do community-run creches , sport organisations , youth support centres etc , all of which will be effected when or if JI and/or CE workers are removed from the premises. Mr Curran said that he understood the value of the work been done by JI and CE workers etc etc - but no guarantee was given by him that such a reduction in numbers would not happen.

However , the main point of discussion on the floor of the venue was a rumoured three per cent wage cut for JI and CE employees , which would mean roughly €12 less per week for JI employees and roughly €7 less per week for CE employees.
Some of the Community Sector workers at the meeting mentioned between themselves that they have been told by FÁS that at the end of their current work contract they will have to choose between their 'Secondary Benefits' (ie OPFA , Disability Allowance , FIS etc , of which over 10,000 CE workers qualify for) or their CE wage. SIPTU has been made aware of this situation.
It appears that the politicians here and/or in Brussels/IMF have decided that CE jobs are to be abolished - from over 36,000 State-wide in 1999 to 20,000 currently - and a further wage cut (5.55% already cut in December 2009) plus the withdrawal of 'Secondary Benefits' could very easily translate into the position where people would not actually be able to afford to take on a CE job !

Finally , if the feeling at the meeting is a yardstick to judge by , the Clondalkin area will be well represented on the November 27th protest in Dublin.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Nov 24, 2010 18:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!
The ICTU has produced a newspaper , entitled 'People's Voice' , to promote the ICTU-organised protest march in Dublin , to be held on Saturday 27th November 2010. JI and CE workers in Clondalkin were amongst those who helped distribute same to community centres , creches , sporting organisations etc in the area and, as far as we know, this was done throughout the State.

More pics and comment at the 'Related Link' , below.
Thanks!
Sharon.

The  'People's Voice' newspaper , produced by the ICTU , for the 27th November 2010 protest in Dublin.
The 'People's Voice' newspaper , produced by the ICTU , for the 27th November 2010 protest in Dublin.

Some of the overpaid ; Mary Harney, Michael Fingleton, Seán FitzPatrick and Brian Goggin .  (Source - http://www.tribune.ie/article/2009/nov/08/trade-unions-whos-who/)
Some of the overpaid ; Mary Harney, Michael Fingleton, Seán FitzPatrick and Brian Goggin . (Source - http://www.tribune.ie/article/2009/nov/08/trade-unions-whos-who/)

Related Link: http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2010/11/24/experiment-berry-papers-ictu-peoples-voice-newspaper-re-nov-27th-2010-protest/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Nov 24, 2010 19:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!
Not included in that ICTU newspaper list - Peter McLoone €3562 a week , Jack O Connor €2583 a week and David Begg €2862 a week.
An 'Embarrassment Of Riches' indeed.
(Source for those figures at the 'Related Link' below)
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://www.tribune.ie/article/2009/nov/08/trade-unions-whos-who/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Nov 26, 2010 14:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!
On Wednesday last (24th November 2010) the Leinster House 'Social Protection Committee' issued a statement , signed by State Minister O'Cuiv , stating that proposed welfare cuts to 'One Parent Families' and those with disabilities who are employed in Community Employment jobs were not (now) being considered in the forthcoming State budget.
Whilst this is a welcome development , obtained after months of campaigning by those workers and their union representatives, it is possible - probable? - that those 'savings' will be made by other and/or increased cutbacks against CE workers.
Either way , the campaign against cutbacks like those will continue.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Dec 03, 2010 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
As mentioned elsewhere on 'Indymedia' (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/98330) , a Community Sector protest , organised with help from the trade union movement , will be held in Dublin on Friday , December 10th 2010 , at 7pm.
Details re same can be viewed at the above-mentioned link.

There are some issues re this event that I don't agree with - see the post entitled 'Avoiding the radical answers needed?' at the above link (D_D Thu Dec 02, 2010 17:30) re same - plus , I think the day and time could have been picked better - , but I'll be there , anyway , to give my support.
Thanks!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Jan 10, 2011 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

In their first wage slip/payment of 2011 , all JI and CE workers will most definitely have noticed that they have been the victim of a 'double whammy' - they have been included in the USC 'net'
(http://www.revenue.ie/en/spotlights/universal-social-ch....html) and have had their weekly wage reduced by FÁS.
Those on JI should now be earning €416 for a 39-hour week (before any USC deduction) compared to the average of €425 nett per week they were earning in 2010 , a figure which , itself , stood at (on average) €450 in 2009!
Those on CE who are not claiming for a 'Dependant' should now be in receipt of €208 for a nineteen-and-a-half-hour week , whereas those on CE who are claiming for an 'Adult Dependant' should be in receipt of €332 for a similar working week.
As stated , both JI and CE have been included in the USC 'net' but our understanding is that they should not have been included in that 'net' and will have the money which has been stopped re same paid back in full to them as soon as possible ie those repayments should be made before the end of this month.
In truth , because of the low wage they are on , JI and CE should still be earning the same (small) weekly amount as they were in 2009 - but that would take strong trade union action to achieve and, as such - in our opinion - that's not going to happen , unfortunately.
Thanks for reading!
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by JI Workerpublication date Tue Jan 11, 2011 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I work on the JI. My take-home pay was down €20 per week last year, and this year it fell by a further €19.

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Jan 11, 2011 22:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi JI Worker!

That would tally with the figures we have been told about - in general , a JI worker now will be between €30 and €50 worse-off per week than they were in 2009.
There are workers in other fields that now find themselves trying to pay increased bills on a smaller income (having witnessed their wage drop by even more than €50 a week) but JI and CE workers were not on a 'decent' wage to start with and will therefore find the reduction harder to deal with.
And there is at least two more State budgets like this in the pipeline.
Thanks for your comment - appreciated. Hopefully , more JI and CE people will add their voices to this thread.
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Jan 20, 2011 23:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!
By now , all JI and CE workers that were stopped an average of €17 per week in 'USC' deduction should have been reimbursed that money - no apology was officially offered for stopping that money in the first place , but we have yet to meet a JI / CE employee who is surprised at that. There is anger , too , that wages were reduced without any consultation.
Incidentally - the feeling amongst these Community Sector workers is that they were purposely 'served with a double whammy' (ie 'USC' deduction and a wage reduction) in order that , when the USC 'mistake' was corrected and the money returned, they would 'wipe their brow' with relief and consider themselves 'lucky' to have been victim to only having been mugged once.
If that was indeed the intention behind the 'double whammy' , it hasn't worked : before the end of this month , the trade unions involved are going to be asked by JI / CE worker representatives to seek a legal ruling on wages being cut without any consultation.
No more than other workers - and perhaps even more so than other workers - JI and CE employees , because of their low weekly wage , cannot afford to be financially punished by the State in order that bankers , property speculators and political muppets be bailed out of a mess of their own making.
We wish those workers every success in their battle.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Feb 11, 2011 23:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!

In January 2011 (for the second time in two years) low-paid workers in the ‘Community Sector’ (JI / CE) in this State have had their wages reduced - illegally - with no consultation , negotiation or agreement.

Trade unions involved in this issue have asked their members to use the present State election campaign to their advantage and , instead of being canvassed by politicians , to canvass them instead ; JI / CE workers have been asked to present the following ‘pledge’ to all candidates , for their signature -

“Dear Candidate,

As Job Initiative workers , we deliver vital community services including childcare , after-schools and eldercare. However , as workers , we are denied the basic workers right re negotiating our pay and conditions ie collective bargaining.
Over the past two years our pay has been illegally cut , twice , on the direction of FÁS , without negotiation , agreement or consent.

As constituents , we are seeking your support so that Job Initiative workers and their union representatives can negotiate directly with FÁS , the agency that currently determines pay and conditions.
We ask that you contact the Minister for Social Protection in relation to this matter and strongly urge that Minister to respect the basic right of Job Initiative workers to negotiate their pay and conditions.

Signed
(by candidate/politician) -

————————-

On behalf of Job Initiative workers.”


It's a worthwhile exercise , even though all candidates requested to do so would sign it , and then consign it to the 'bottom drawer' , with the rest of his/her election 'pledges'.
Still - as an exercise, it can't hurt.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Feb 14, 2011 23:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
A public meeting will be held in Neilstown Junior School (beside Neilstown Shopping Centre) on Thursday 17th February 2011 at 7.30pm. The Chairperson is Eamon Dunphy, broadcaster.
The following candidates have been asked to attend and have confirmed that they will be present -

Robert Connolly - United Left Alliance
Mick Finnegan – Workers Party
Robert Dowds - Labour Party
State Senator Frances Fitzgerald - Fine Gael
Paul Gogarty - Green Party
Gino Kenny- People Before Profit
Eoin O'Broin - Provisional Sinn Fein
Joanna Tuffy - Labour Party
John Curran - Fianna Fail
Derek Keating - Fine Gael.


The 'Sorry We Missed You...' political 'business cards' in the letterbox are literally flying through the doors in this part of Dublin , especially from Fianna Fail , the Greens and Fine Gael - if they 'missed you' in Clondalkin , you need not 'miss' them - tell them what you think of them on Thursday night , 17th February 2011, in Neilstown Junior School , starting at 7.30pm.
These are either the people that put you out of work , reduced your wage or aspire to do so , using your vote to do it with whilst , at the same time , 'blaming' the Fianna Fail/Green State Coalition and/or the IMF.
Turn up and have your say - it might not do a lot of good in the long term , but you should at least feel better for it that night !
Thanks for reading ,
Sharon.

(This meeting has not been organised by Republican Sinn Féin , although RSF members will be present.)

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Feb 18, 2011 22:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

Standing room only at the Neilstown meeting last night , despite there being two 'empty chairs' at the 'Top Table' - John Curran was a 'no show' (no explanation offered) as was Derek Keating , a Fine Gael candidate.

The bulk of the time available was , rightly , given over to Lorraine and her neighbours who were present to represent about 250 residents from Balgaddy , who are trying to live in / move out of their GAMA-built houses , which are uninhabitable , due to an extremely poor build , using cheap materials. As expected , all eight candidates expressed their "horror" at the pictures and files shown to them at the meeting , and all vowed to support the residents. However - and full marks to them - Lorraine and her neighbours were not content to leave matters at that , and they loudly and repeatedly 'reminded' the politicians present that this is not a 'new issue' which is suddenly being sprung on them!
Near the end of the meeting (around 9pm) a local RSF member , who is also a JI employee in the area , was cheered continuously by the large crowd when , in a three-minute address from the floor, he outlined the wage deductions imposed on JI and CE workers in the area stating that , unlike those at the 'Top Table' who are either overpaid politicians or aspire to be , the JI and CE community workers cannot sustain the wage cuts which they have suffered.

A few people present distributed some hundreds of leaflets calling for a ' None Of The Above' vote in the up-coming State election , and were well received by the majority in attendence apart , that is -obviously! - by the candidates and their family members / supporters etc. A good initiative , in my opinion , and one which has its supporters in the area.
All in all , it was a good meeting , very well attended by the local community , with the politicians present being left in no doubt whatsoever that that section of the electorate will not be happy with mere 'promises of action'.
Well done to Noreen , Mags and the NCCDP Team for organising this event "
Thanks for reading,
Sharon.

'VOTE N.O.T.A.' - hundreds of these leaflets were distributed at a political meeting in Neilstown , Clondalkin , on Thursday 17th February 2011.
'VOTE N.O.T.A.' - hundreds of these leaflets were distributed at a political meeting in Neilstown , Clondalkin , on Thursday 17th February 2011.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Mar 04, 2011 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
JI workers who , through their trade union(s) , lodged a complaint with the 'Labour Relations Committee' under the 'Payment of Wages Act 1991' , in connection with wage deductions imposed on them by FÁS , will have their cases heard in the 'LRC' over a three-day period this month : we wish these employees all the best , as they were poorly paid before the two wage deductions mentioned , and should not be financially penalised by the State.
We should have updates regarding those cases before the end of this month , and will post any such information here.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sun Mar 20, 2011 15:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

A short post to wish the four Clondalkin JI representatives 'all the best' with their appearance in front of the LRC 'Commissioner' tomorrow (Monday 21st March 2011) in what will hopefully be
another step towards reversing at least one of the recent wage cuts imposed on them over the last 15 months - these community workers in the Clondalkin area ensure that dozens of community-based facilities are able to operate and stay open for use by the general public and, if anything, deserve a wage increase , not a decrease .
They have a solid case , but are up against organisations with 'deep pockets' - sincere best wishes to them with this endeavour.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Mar 23, 2011 17:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !
As expected , FÁS 'washed its hands' of this JI action and was not represented at the above-mentioned LRC case ; instead , the December 2009 wage cut was defended by the Clondalkin Partnership-operated 'Community Employment Initiative' (CEI) , two of whose representatives were present , accompanied by a solicitor.
The four Clondalkin JI members and two officials from SIPTU delivered forceful presentations , concentrating on the manner in which a sum of €25.40 cents was docked from the wages of JI employees in Clondalkin , of whom 35 decided to contest the deduction.
One of the 'CEI' representatives present actually attempted to defend the imposed wage cut , apologising at the same time for 'having their hand forced re same by FÁS...' , whilst the other 'CEI' rep contented themself by keeping notes on the proceedings. Their solicitor said nothing.
Although we have copies of the actual case put forward by both sides , and are also aware of the finer details of what transpired during the fifty minutes that the Hearing lasted for , we will not be commenting on those detais here or anywhere else , as it will probably be mid-May 2011 before a judgement is announced and we have no wish to put that outcome in jeopardy.
However , once again - we wish the JI workers every success in their fight for justice.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Aug 30, 2011 23:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is mounting anger , justifiably, in Clondalkin JI today (Tuesday 30th August 2011) because it was discovered this afternoon that a judgement re their Labour Court case was issued on Thursday 2nd June last - but Clondalkin JI were ignorant of this fact until today.
The LRC 'Rights Commissioner' declared that ".....the Employer has not contravened....the Act (and) therefore......in accordance with.....the Act I declare the complaints are not well founded" - in other words , they lost their case.
That eventually had been allowed for , and the intention was to appeal such a decision (on the basis of the manner in which the wage cut was imposed) - however , an appeal must be lodged within six weeks of the date of judgement and that is not now possible.

Bad enough that these low-paid workers should loose their case but to have lost the opportunity to appeal the decision as well - through incompetence on the part of their trade union , it is believed - adds another layer of disappointment.
From talking to the workers in Clondalkin JI , I don't believe this issue is finished just yet : they are determined to get answers in regards to who failed to notify them until today.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Sep 01, 2011 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It has now been established that a Registered letter detailing the decision made by the 'Rights Commissioner' was sent on 2nd June 2011 to the SIPTU Official - whose name we know but will withhold for now - who is dealing with this case ; however , that decision was not made known to Clondalkin JI until August 30th last.
The 37 claimants in Clondalkin on whose behalf this case was taken are furious in relation to how this issue was mishandled by SIPTU , and that trade union has initiated an investigation into what went wrong.
Clondalkin JI are not prepared to let this issue go.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sun Sep 25, 2011 19:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Re the SIPTU investigation into the Clondalkin JI / LRC 'slip-up' (just a "communications error" , apparently) : a SIPTU internal report was being studied by Branch officials on the day it was compiled (Wednesday 14th September 2011) and a promise (!) was given that very night at a JI meeting in Clondalkin , by a SIPTU official , that said report would be made available to them 'as soon as possible'. Almost two weeks later and 'asap' is still just around the corner ie Clondalkin JI are still non the wiser , not having received a copy of the report.
Also - FÁS has took it upon itself to stop paying 'top-up' money (about €20 or less a week) to the minority of JI employees who were receiving same - again , no consulation or negotiation re same , and a SIPTU-nominated ('worker-director') Board member in the local 'Partnership' group has resigned before she even took her seat as it would have necessitated working with SIPTU , an organisation which she now has no faith in.
More details at the 'Related Link' below.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com/2011/09/law-in-disorder_21.html
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Wed Oct 12, 2011 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'SIPTU report into Clondalkin JI / LRC issue ? Try another Department. I want to move on....'

Clondalkin JI members held a meeting in a Ronanstown venue on Monday 10th October 2011 , at which a (female) SIPTU official was present.
Despite the on-going controversy re the 'missing' SIPTU-compiled report into why Clondalkin JI were only notified on 30th August 2011 that the had , in fact, lost their wage-claim case on 2nd June 2011 , the SIPTU official at the meeting stated , repeatedly, that that "was not my department..." , and that she was not there "to discuss an internal SIPTU document."

The lady was dismissive of all queries re the report - which was compiled by the SIPTU rep who represented Clondalkin JI in the LRC on 21st March 2011 and which he presented to his SIPTU boss on 14th September 2011 - and stated that all such questions would 'have to be addressed to the MISC Department in Liberty Hall' and that her brief at the meeting was 'to discuss other issues'.

Not all at the meeting were prepared to accept that position (although some were , and did) and it appears that SIPTU has managed to do what neither FÁS or the Clondalkin Partnership could do - fracture whatever cohesion that these low-paid workers had managed , as a group, to preserve , up to that point. And SIPTU has done this on purpose , in order to safeguard the career and 'reputation' of one of its own - no doubt in the knowledge that the 'saved' SIPTU official will return the favour should his boss find himself with his arse out the window at some time in the future.

However , to their credit , there are those in Clondalkin JI who are not prepared to "move on" until the 'missing' report issue has been properly resolved and some in that group have been in contact with SIPTU , 'MISC' and others, insisting that a copy of the report be sent to them and a meeting arranged with the SIPTU official involved.
It remains to be seen just how big the 'sweeping carpet' in SIPTU is , as the people in Clondalkin that I was talking to are not going to let this go.
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Oct 24, 2011 22:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

A 'request' from SIPTU to all members re its  'Winter Programme 2011/2012' states that it is continuing its  'Campaign for a Better Fairer Way -  As we approach the end of the fourth year of savage austerity the battle for a Better, Fairer Way continues. We will be engaged on a number of fronts over the winter and it is critically important that members participate fully in these actions.....'

The 'request' , in a SIPTU newsletter which Clondalkin JI received in the last day or two, also mentioned the need to 'Build a Strong Union ' -  'We are engaged in a 5 year programme to make our Union fit to meet the challenges of the future. We are determined to complete it within 3 years. We are one year in. Every member can become involved.....'

Yes , indeed - "Every member can become involved..." on condition , apparently, that those members do not expect SIPTU to reciprocate and  "become involved" with them : despite repeated requests to MISC and other SIPTU departments re the 'missing' report , no acknowledgement of the requests - never mind an actual answer - has even been received. It is safe to say that the majority of Clondalkin JI members will be ignoring this 'request for co-operation' from their Union until such time as that Union agrees to their  'request for co-operation' .

And rightly so.

Thanks,

Sharon.

 

 

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Tue Dec 13, 2011 22:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

Following repeated requests for a meeting with SIPTU's  'MISC' Department to discuss the 'Missing LRC Report', two Clondalkin JI members were finally granted (!) such an audience in a SIPTU premises on the South Circular Road , Dublin , on November 22 , 2011 : the two JI workers explained their case to two MISC officials and the latter both stated that a meeting will be held between the Head of the MISC Department and Clondalkin JI , before Christmas , at which the 'missing report' issue will be discussed in full.

A date re same has yet to be secured , and contact from MISC is hard to secure - chances are that the promised meeting will not now be held until the New Year , and Clondalkin JI will then be told to 'move on and stop living in the past...'.

Also , at a JI meeting in Clondalkin on October 10 , 2011 , the SIPTU rep present was asked for any information she had in relation to the LRC issue and she replied that that  'was not her department' and stated she was there to discuss other issues. Her comment did not go down well at the meeting , but it seems to be a taste of what's to come from SIPTU re this particular issue.

Thanks,

Sharon.

 

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Jan 27, 2012 14:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

Early February 2012 is the (new!) 'promised' date as to when an answer should be forthcoming from SIPTU to Clondalkin JI in relation to the 'late notification' issue : the delay is apparently unavoidable due to the fact that the Head of the SIPTU Department concerned (!) has retired and , considering that Clondalkin JI first contacted the union in September 2011 re their objections to the manner in which SIPTU failed them re the LRC case, that has been one hell of a retirement party......

Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Mon Apr 02, 2018 20:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!

Last October (2017) the DEASP (the State 'Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection') announced that it would shortly be increasing the wage of those on the JI Programme by about €10 a week - that tenner came through in late March (2018) meaning that, on average (depending on the circumstances of the individual JI worker) he/she should now be, on paper, earning about €440.00 per week.
Better than nothing, but considering that, for instance, in 2009, those same workers were paid (on average) €457 a week, this 'increase' is viewed only as a pyrrhic 'victory' and is not being cheered from the rooftops by the JI employees that have been speaking to me.
Maybe in another couple of years they'll be in receipt of a wage they were on nine years ago...

Thanks for reading,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/103504
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sun Apr 22, 2018 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi!

A very telling press release from SIPTU, dated 12th April 2018, entitled 'SIPTU calls on South Dublin County Partnership to meet workers' representatives' was 'Facebooked' around community sector workers in Clondalkin by a worker in Neilstown last week and was distributed to fellow-workers and interested parties by JI and CE employees in the area -

'SIPTU Community Sector representatives have called on the management of the South Dublin County Partnership (SDCP) to meet with them to discuss a number of issues concerning union members employed delivering the organisation’s programmes.
SIPTU Organiser, Karen Smollen, said: “We previously had a positive engagement process with SDCP management holding bi-monthly meetings to discuss local and national issues.
Unfortunately, this engagement ended after the SDCP secured the funding to deliver community schemes in the south Dublin area during last year’s Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme tendering process.
“Since then senior management in the SDCP has ignored all contact by their workers’ representatives to discuss their collective concerns, including pay restoration. SDCP has also ignored communications from the Workplace Relations Commission. This amounts to a refusal to engage with the industrial relations machinery of the State.”
She added: “As a publicly funded organisation, the decision by SDCP to refuse to meaningfully discuss its workers concerns is completely unacceptable. If management do not change their attitude it will necessitate further action by our members in order to have the issues that concern them adequately dealt with.”
(See 'Related Link', below.)

That press release has caused consternation among most of the JI (and CE) workers in Clondalkin (and further afield, I would hope) because it means that the same
trade union (SIPTU) and, indeed - in this instance - the same SIPTU rep (named in the press release) is tasked and/or has tasked herself to bat on behalf of the bosses and those answerable to those same bosses : those "employed delivering the (SDCP) programmes" are JI and CE (and TUS) managers, supervisors and assistant supervisors whereas those they 'deliver' the programmes to are JI and CE (and TUS) workers - with both groups being championed (!) by, in this case, not only the same trade union but the same trade union rep!

"Conflict of interest" and "running with the hare and hunting with the hounds" is how it has been described by most of the community sector workers here in Clondalkin and, indeed, one of those workers has recounted a dispute they had with their newly-appointed supervisor (a JI worker who was 'promoted' to their new position by a Nangor Road boss) and, on ringing Liberty Hall for advice, was told (by the SIPTU rep named in the press release) that if it came to mediation, the rep and SIPTU would do so from the point of view of the supervisor.

The community sector workers that talked to me about this situation feel dejected, and I can understand why they would - wide open to harassment by couldn't-care-less bosses and abandoned by a couldn't-care-less trade union. Left to fend for themselves but too weak to do so. A shame.

Thanks for reading,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://www.siptu.ie/media/pressreleases2018/fullstory_20809_en.html
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