Thursday 23 February 2017

The unions behind the spreading disruption

Anne-Marie Walsh

The ASTI could close more than half the country’s second-level schools by the end of October or early November
The ASTI could close more than half the country’s second-level schools by the end of October or early November

Secondary teachers

The ASTI could close more than half the country's second-level schools by the end of October or early November. It is seeking a mandate for strike action on the issue of pay for newly qualified teachers. The union, which has not signed up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, is also seeking a mandate for withdrawal from supervision and substitution duties, which could force schools to close.

Gardaí

The public could face the prospect of industrial action, although the form it will take has not been decided. Gardaí are already refusing to co-operate with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan's plans to modernise the force after their pay increments were halted for failing to sign up to the Lansdowne Road deal. Although effectively prohibited from strike action, they have shown in the past that they can bring services to a halt when they engaged in a 'blue flu' protest.

Dublin bus workers

The Dublin Bus dispute has the potential to spark a general strike at CIÉ. Some 400,000 passengers a day are already being hit by a series of rolling 48- and 24-hour strikes, with the sixth stoppage taking place today. The National Bus and Railworkers' Union (NRBRU) has warned that Irish Rail drivers could come out in support of their union colleagues.

Bus Éireann staff

The public could face the shutdown of services. There was already potential for industrial action over a pay claim but the revelation of a plan to implement at least 150 redundancies and cut pay and conditions has made that a bigger possibility.

ESB employees

The TEEU is holding a ballot of its 1,300 members for strike action after failing to reach a deal for a pay rise of 5.5pc over two and-a-half years and lump sum of €2,750, due to concerns over new entrants' pay.

Public servants

There is no immediate threat of industrial action among the wider public service but that may not last. This year's conferences were dominated by union leaders demanding an acceleration of refunds of pay cuts. Unions have not yet indicated their plans if this does not happen.

Irish Independent

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