Tuesday 12 December 2017

SVP office workers set to lose jobs

Part of the St Vincent de Paul base on Magdalene Street.
Part of the St Vincent de Paul base on Magdalene Street.

Hubert Murphy

SIPTU is requesting an urgent meeting with senior management at the St Vincent de Paul Society to discuss workers' concerns about proposed redundancies in Drogheda.

The local union organiser, Karen Smollen, revealed that workers were advised in November last year that the society was undergoing a restructuring process which could see the area office close.

Following this, management held a number of meetings with staff to advise them that no decision had been reached on the future of the Drogheda Area Office.

'Last week, staff received letters informing them that their positions were at risk and requesting that they attend individual meetings on Wednesday, July 30. At these meetings, workers were again informed that their positions were at risk but no additional information was provided,' she stated.

'On Tuesday (August 5), our members received a letter informing them that they are to lose their positions with the society. They were informed in these letters that their period of notice had commenced the previous Friday (August 1).'

The union is keen to discuss the terms being offered and added 'in its approach, the management of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has shown no respect to staff who have served it with dedication for years'.

Minister Ged Nash said that efforts to meet with St V de P officials some months ago in relation to the issue 'seemed to fall on deaf ears.'.

'I have been keeping in close contact with staff, their union SIPTU and senior members of the organisation locally in recent weeks and months, all of whom are extremely concerned at this turn of events. I wrote to the organisation's CEO again this week to express my concern as a local TD at the manner in which this whole process has been handled,' he said.

He said he is urging the SVP at national level to engage meaningfully with staff and with SIPTU on the restructuring programme as it relates to the Drogheda Area Office.

The SVP has said that all administration responsibilities of the part-time area office in Magdalene Street will transfer to the regional office in Trinity Street.

'The transfer will take place from September 1 and will simplify communications with the SVP in the town,' they stated. 'It will not impact on the level or quality of the service already provided by local SVP groups (conferences) in the area.'

It added that the area office was staffed on a part-time basis and the changes were 'being discussed with them'.

SVP shops in the area are not affected by the changes. The regional office hours are 9am-to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and can be contacted at (041) 9873331 or 1800 677 777.

Drogheda Independent

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