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Before yesterdayCivil Public & Services Union

Circular 169/17: Festive Season & New Year

By CPSU

To:       Branch Secretaries & Chairs, Executive Committee & HQ Staff
Date:   21st December 2017
Circ:     169/17
Re:       Festive Season & New Year

Dear Colleagues

Please bring this Circular to the attention of your members.

As we wind up for the year of 2017 I want to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best over the festive season and to look forward with you to better times in 2018. In particular I want to thank the President, Vice President, Executive Committee, Branch representatives, all our staff and every member for their loyalty and strength over the year.

This has been a momentous and historic year for the CPSU. We finally secured the regrading of our Staff Officers to Executive Officers after many year lodging claims for just that. This was followed by our backing of the PSSA public service agreement which brings to an end the FEMPI pay cuts and pension levy for all our members and for some, even, delivers a real pay increase for the first time since 2008. Finally we debated hard, looked into the future and voted convincingly to build a new union FÓRSA with our colleagues in PSEU and IMPACT from January 2nd 2018.

There are huge challenges facing our new union. Not least those parts of the austerity era which hurt badly like the unpaid additional hours, the new entrant points on the CO scale and an ongoing risk of the outsourcing of our work. I am confident that in building FÓRSA we have created a bigger, better resourced trade union to fight for our members rights. In 2018 FÓRSA will bring 20,000 Clerical Officers into one union for the first time and that can only mean we will be stronger together.

I hope you have a good few days off and that we will all return to our new union in January committed to making the lives of our members better.

Yours Sincerely,

__________________________

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary

 

Happy Christmas

By CPSU

Fórsa will be launched on January 2nd following the amalgamation of the CPSU IMPACT and PSEU. From Jan 2nd there will be no further updates to the CPSU website, Facebook or Twitter pages. Please visit Forsa website.

Circular 161/17: Filling of CPSU positions on Fórsa bodies.

By CPSU

To:       Branch Chairs & Secretaries, Executive and Head Office
Date:   6th December 2017
Circ:     161/17
Re:       Filling of CPSU positions on Fórsa bodies.

Dear Colleague

As you will be aware Fórsa is due to come into being from early January and a number of the representative bodies provided for in the rules of the new union will be formed on an interim basis from existing similar bodies within each of the three amalgamating unions. For instance the entire Executive Committee will integrate with the comparable Committees in IMPACT and PSEU to form the interim National Executive (NEC) until the election of a new Fórsa National Executive at the National Conference in May 2018.

Following our Executive meeting last week I am now seeking nominees from our Branches of candidates interested in going forward on an interim basis to serve on two Fórsa bodies

  1. Fórsa Trustee: The nominee must not be a member of the CPSU Executive but should be an experienced CPSU activist with previous service to the union at a senior representative level. This position is not an Executive position and is similar to the position of honorary trustee found in other voluntary organisations. He/she should have a good understanding of financial reporting in such organisations.
  2. Interim Services & Enterprises Divisional Executive: Branches are asked to nominate a candidate interested in serving on the Committee until the Divisional Conference in April 2018. The member must be employed in a Semi-State company, Agency or private sector company and not in a Government Department or Office (these are represented by the Civil Service Divisional Executive).

The CPSU Executive meeting on December 11th next will elect the successful candidates from the list of nominees received in Head Office by Friday next 8th December.

Please submit nominees for the above to Moira Haslam Administration Manager CPSU on mhaslam@cpsu.ie .

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary

Circular 157/17: Notice of FÓRSA Services & Enterprises Divisional Conference

By CPSU

To:       All Branch Secretaries & Chairs, Executive members & Head Office
Date:   4th December 2017
Circ:     157/17
Re:       Notice of FÓRSA Services & Enterprises Divisional Conference

 Dear Colleagues

As you are aware CPSU, IMPACT and PSEU members have voted in favour of amalgamation to form the new Union Fórsa. The Instrument of Amalgamation has been submitted to the Registrar for Friendly Societies and there is a statutory waiting period of at least six weeks before the Instrument can be approved and the new Union is legally established. Subject to the Registrar’s approval, I am therefore giving you informal notice of arrangements for the special Fórsa Services and Enterprises Conference in 2018. It will be held in Galway on 12th to 13th April, 2018.

 Motions and Nominations for Chairperson/ Cathaoirleach, Vice–Chairperson/ Leas-Cathaoirleach and not more than 17 other Divisional Executive members will need to be submitted by 25th January. Branches may only nominate or propose motions to this Conference if they have members working in the Services & Enterprises sector (e.g. Semi-State, private companies).

The Conference will also elect, from the incoming Divisional Executive, one of its members to join the Chair and Vice-Chair as the Divisional representatives on the National Executive.

The Preliminary Agenda will issue on 15th February. Any amendments will need to be submitted by 1st March and the final Agenda will issue on 29th March, 2018.

It should be noted that the National Executive, under Rule, will determine the total number of delegates that may attend this conference and then a breakdown for each individual branch, based on their membership percentage. This will be decided once accommodation availability, Conference hall capability etc. are clarified.

A detailed Protocol for the handling of all Conference matters etc. at your Branch AGM is attached while the appropriate nomination forms, motion sheets and delegate nominations will be issued shortly.

Yours Sincerely,

 __________________________

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary

 

156/17: Notice of FÓRSA Civil Service Conference

By CPSU

To:       All Branch Secretaries & Chairs, Executive members & Head Office
Date:   4th December 2017
Circ:     156/17
Re:       Notice of FÓRSA Civil Service Conference

 Dear Colleagues

As you are aware CPSU, IMPACT and PSEU members have voted in favour of amalgamation to form the new union Fórsa. The Instrument of Amalgamation has been submitted to the Registrar for Friendly Societies and there is a statutory waiting period of at least six weeks before the Instrument can be approved and the new Union is legally established. Subject to the Registrar’s approval, I am therefore giving you informal notice of arrangements for the special Fórsa Civil Service Conference in 2018. It will be held in Killarney on 19th to 20th April, 2018. Only Branches with members working in the Civil Service may nominate or submit motions to this Conference

Motions and Nominations for Chairperson/Cathaoirleach, two Vice – Chairpersons/Leas-Cathaoirligh and not more than 26 other Divisional Executive members must be submitted by 1th February. Of these, one officer and 10 ordinary members must be from the CPSU Constituency (i.e. delegates of former CPSU Branches). The three Officers along with seven other members elected at Conference from the incoming Divisional Executive will be the Divisional representatives on the National Executive.

The Preliminary Agenda will issue on 22nd February. Any amendments will need to be submitted by 8th March and the final Agenda will issue on 5th April, 2018.

It should be noted that the National Executive, under Rule, will determine the total number of delegates that may attend this conference and a breakdown for each individual branch, based on their membership percentage will issue. This will be decided once accommodation availability, Conference hall capability etc. are clarified.

A detailed Protocol for the handling of all Conference matters etc. at your Branch AGM is attached while the appropriate nomination forms, motion sheets and delegate nominations will be issued shortly.

Yours Sincerely,

__________________________

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary

 

155/17 Circular: Notice of FÓRSA National Conference

By CPSU

To:       All Branch Secretaries & Chairs, Executive members & Head Office
Date:   4th December 2017
Circ:     155/17
Re:       Notice of FÓRSA National Conference

Dear Colleagues

As you are aware CPSU, IMPACT and PSEU members have voted in favour of amalgamation to form the new union Fórsa. The Instrument of Amalgamation has been submitted to the Registrar for Friendly Societies and there is a statutory waiting period of at least six weeks before the Instrument can be approved and the new Union is legally established. Subject to the Registrar’s approval, I am therefore giving you informal notice of arrangements for the first biennial Fórsa National Conference in 2018. It will be held in Killarney on 16th to 18th May 2018.

Motions and Nominations for President, Treasurer and Vice Presidents (three) must be submitted by 28th February next. The Preliminary Agenda will issue on 21st March. Any amendments will need to be submitted by 4th April and the final Agenda will issue on 2nd May 2018.

Similar Notices for the Civil Service Divisional Conference and the Service & Enterprises Conferences both in April are also being issued currently.

It should be noted that the National Executive, under Rule, will determine the total number of delegates that may attend this conference and a breakdown for each individual branch, based on their membership percentage will issue. This will be decided once accommodation availability, Conference hall capability etc. are clarified.

A detailed Protocol for the handling of all Conference matters etc. at your Branch AGM is attached while the appropriate nomination forms, motion sheets and delegate nominations will be issued shortly.

Yours Sincerely,

__________________________

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary

 

EPSU News 4 December 2017

By CPSU

 

 

 

The final weeks of the year will be busy ones. We expect proposals from the European Commission to integrate the Fiscal Compact in EU legislation. Will it be used as an opportunity to give more teeth to the social pillar and provide a solid basis for making social progress in EU legislation? Or will it announce a regime of continued austerity? We should also find out what the European Commission will be offering workers regarding the revision of the written statement directive. Will it be a mere re-stating of rights, or will workers that are abused in zero-hour contracts, digital platforms, false self-employment and other modern forms of piece work get better protection? Next, the Commission should provide further details of its ideas for a European Labour Authority as Commission President Juncker announced in his State of the Union speech in September. Should employers that exploit loopholes in legislation in cross-border situations to exploit workers fear it? Or will it be a joke, victim of corporate capture and the Commission’s Better Regulation agenda?

In this regard, the establishment of the new Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and “Doing Less More Efficiently has not received much attention. Behind the nice words, the aim is to return tasks and power to Member States. It reads like another instrument to make social legislation more difficult, leaving behind a European Union that is based only on the internal market and an economic straightjacket. This taskforce starts its work on 1 January 2018. A negative reading of the Better Regulation and Fitness checks agenda and now this initiative is that they will be used to assist in killing off the role of trade unions and employers as co-legislators provided for in articles 153-155 of the Treaty.

For EPSU, the way the Commission deals with the agreement on information and consultation rights for nearly 10 million public administration workers is a test for social Europe. On 28 November, Inge Bernaerts, head of Cabinet of EU Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen addressed the EPSU Executive Committee. It is already two years since the agreement was reached but she admitted that there still is no decision on implementing the agreement through a directive. More ominous is that the Commission indicated that it reserves itself the right to judge whether or not the agreement will actually be forwarded to the Council as requested by the social partners. This will hollow out the Treaty and the unique role given to the social partners. The EPSU Executive supported an earlier decision of the ETUC that this will not be acceptable and we are exploring what further steps can be taken if this where to happen.

The European Commission can use these final weeks of the year to make the difference for workers and the future of the European Union. Or it can confirm that it has become an instrument of the business interests and political elites that pursue their agendas behind the fine words of Gothenburg. It holds the cards.


Just 10 days after Gothenburg, Commission is pouring cold water on Pillar Social Rights

Click here to read more >


EPSU calls for an enquiry committee in the European Parliament on Paradise Papers

Click here to read more >


Building the European Federation of Public Service Unions The history of EPSU (1978 – 2016) by Carola Fischbach-Pyttel

Click here to read more > 


EPSU supports global call for Strong ILO Convention on Gender-Based Violence

Click here to read more >


Electricity European Social Partners stand up for just energy transition

Click here to read more >


More in this newsletter:

EPSU News 21 November 2017

By CPSU

 

 

 

Europe’s unions made their voice heard over the past few weeks leading up to the declaration of the EU Pillar of Social Rights in Gothenburg on 17 November. EPSU launched a video to support the social dialogue and demand progress with the agreement on information and consultation rights for over 9.3 million workers in central government administrations. The need to respect social partner agreements received support from Members of the European Parliament in the debates on the pillar and to maintain pressure on the Commission EPSU has filed a request to obtain access to its documents on this issue. We have been waiting for over a year for the Commission to provide us with its legal analysis. The representativeness study on the social partners in the sector was published last Friday. It is positive and there are no excuses for the Commission to further frustrate the process.

Other events this week:

  • 22 November: The European Parliament is organizing a public hearing on the violation of trade union rights in Turkey. Representatives will testify on the repression they are facing in doing their union job. With the ETUC we are calling for an end to the state of emergency.
  • 24 November: The 5th summit of the Eastern Partnership countries takes place where EU representatives meet leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to discuss the progress with their relationship. Together with the ETUC and PERC, the pan-European regional union council, we will put the interests of workers and people first, highlighting meaningful social dialogue and investment in public services. Investing in staff and institutions to end corruption is key and the EU can set a good example by providing decent whistleblower protection, closing tax havens and addressing tax avoidance.
  • 25 November is the international day to highlight the struggle to end violence against women. The number of women that have experienced forms of harassment at work remains staggering. Many public service union leaders pledged their support for the campaign at the PSI Congress on 3 November. Unions are in an excellent position to address this at the workplace and through collective bargaining, with many also raising awareness and organising training to end domestic violence.

We have just received the first copies of the history of our Federation (1978-2016), written by our former General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel. She did a great job and will present the book at the Executive Committee next week. We will send all affiliates a copy. There is much to be proud of and inspire us for the battles to come.

Read on to find out more!


EU Pillar of Social Rights – Time for action says EPSU

Click here to read more >


New study finds EPSU-led TUNED and employers in central governments most representative

Click here to read more >


European Commission preparing an EU-wide privatisation push?

Click here to read more >


Public event on the right to energy coalition on December 5

Click here to read more >


Social dialogue Committee for Local and Regional Government adopts new work programme

Click here to read more >


More in this newsletter:

149/17 Circular: Final Ballot Outcome – creation of Fórsa – Media Release

By CPSU

To:       All Branch Secretaries & Chairs, Executive members & Head Office
Date:   20th November 2017
Circ:     149/17
Re:       Final Ballot Outcome – creation of Fórsa – Media Release

Dear Colleagues

Please bring the attached joint Media Release to the attention of your members.

The final ballot outcome has been confirmed with IMPACT voting by 86% to accept the proposals on the creation of Fórsa trade union. The CPSU voted 76% in favour and PSEU by 70% last Friday.

The legal papers required to notify the Registrar of Friendly Societies of the decision were signed by the Presidents, Vice Presidents and General Secretaries of the three unions this morning and lodged with the Registrar in Dublin. The union will come into being from the start of 2018. All three unions will work over the coming weeks to put in place the logistical and administrative arrangements to launch the new union in the New Year.

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary

 

 NEWS RELEASE FROM CPSU, IMPACT AND PSEU TRADE UNIONS

Monday 20th November 2017 – for immediate release

 New 80,000-strong public service union to be created

A new public service union called Fórsa, with over 80,000 members, will come into being in early 2018 after the members of the Civil, Public and Services Union (CPSU), IMPACT, and the Public Service Executive Union (PSEU) voted to amalgamate the three organisations.

Fórsa will represent workers across the civil and public services, commercial and non-commercial semi-state organisations, the community and voluntary sector, and private companies in aviation and telecommunications. It will be the second largest union in the country, and the strongest and most influential trade union voice in the public service and semi-state sector.

The members of each of the three unions strongly backed the amalgamation, voting by 76% (CPSU), 86% (IMPACT) and 70% (PSEU) in favour. The Registrar for Friendly Societies, which regulates Ireland’s trade unions, is now expected to sanction the merger in early 2018.

Fórsa will represent literally hundreds of different grades, professions and occupations. It will represent around 30,000 civil servants, 30,000 health workers, 12,000 education staff, 10,000 local authority workers, and 6,500 people in semi-state organisations and private companies.

Speaking after the announcement of the final ballot results, IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody said: “Fórsa will be a progressive platform for trade unionism in Ireland. It will strengthen the hand and amplify the voice of civil and public servants and the vital services they provide. It will work for a more prosperous and secure future for the 80,000-plus workers we now represent and the thousands more that need the protection of a strong, sure friend in the workplace and in our communities.”

PSEU general secretary Tom Geraghty said: “Today is an historic occasion for public servants, the Irish trade union movement and for all who believe in a fairer society. The executive committees and union activists who made this happen have every reason to take pride in their achievement. We will repay our members’ faith by building an organisation they can be proud of and by re-establishing the centrality of workers’ voices in the decisions that matter.

CPSU general secretary Eoin Ronayne said: “Fórsa brings together thousands of similar grades of workers across the civil and public services into one organisation for the first time. The new union is committed to securing better terms and conditions for its members, while being determined to work for the provision of better public services for all.”

CPSU president Ann McGee said: “This is an historic day for the CPSU as we join with our sister unions IMPACT and the PSEU to create one new union voice for so many thousands of workers who serve the citizens of the state. I am confident that Fórsa will be good for our members and good for public services.”

PSEU president Niall McGuirk said: “It has been an honour to be involved in this process and the real work starts today. It’s now up to us all to ensure this force is one to be reckoned with, and we relish the challenge to work for all our members.”

IMPACT president Pat Fallon said: “Fórsa will amplify the workers’ voice, not just in the public service, but also in commercial and non-commercial semi-state organisations, the community and voluntary sector, and many private companies. This new organisation will be stronger and better resourced than what went before – and equally determined to protect the interests of every group within the civil service and across our membership.”

149/17 Circular: Ballot Result – New Union Project CPSU votes 3 to 1 in favour of new Fórsa trade union

By CPSU

To:       Branch Secretaries, Chairs, Executive members and Head Office
Date:   17th November 2017
Circ:     149/17
Re:       Ballot Result – New Union Project
CPSU votes 3 to 1 in favour of new Fórsa trade union

Dear Colleagues

Please bring this Circular to the attention of your members.

The Standing Orders Committee of the CPSU this afternoon declared the outcome of the ballot of members on the creation of the new union Fórsa.

Valid Poll:     5852   (59% turnout)

YES:                 4479    (76.5%)

NO:                  1371    (23.5%)

We understand the PSEU has declared it’s vote to be 69.8% in favour of the new union on a turnout of 53%. IMPACT is currently still counting its ballots which are reported to be strongly in favour. The formal outcome of all three ballots will be declared on Monday morning prior to the duly signed instrument of amalgamation documentation being lodged with the Registrar of Friendly Societies.

Fórsa will come into being on January 1st 2018.

Detailed advices in relation to the implications of the decision for Branch AGMs will be issued early next week.

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary

148/17 Circular: Deadline for New Union/Fórsa Ballot is MIDDAY this FRIDAY 17th November 2017

By CPSU

To: Branch Secretaries & Chairs, Executive members & Head Office RE: Deadline for New Union/Fórsa Ballot is MIDDAY this FRIDAY 17th November 2017
Circ: 148/17

13th November 2017.

Dear Colleagues

Please bring this Circular to the attention of your members.

We are now entering the last few days of the ballot on the creation of the new union Fórsa through the amalgamation of CPSU, IMPACT and the PSEU. This project has been several years in negotiation and all three union Executive Committees are recommending a YES vote. Considerable detail on the proposed new union, which will bring together 20,000 Clerical Officers into the one Public Service Union for the first time, has been circulated to members in the most recent edition of Aontas , through e-mails to the Branch Representatives for circulation to members and on our union website at the top left of the homepage: www.cpsu.ie. Links to the website are also available through our Facebook account CPSUIreland.

12 noon on Friday next is the deadline for the receipt of valid ballot papers. You are urged to ensure all your members vote on the ballot papers issued to your Branch Secretary using the enclosed ballot envelopes. Completed ballot papers should be either posted directly to Head Office or collected by Branch representatives and delivered back to Head Office in the brown ballot envelopes also provided. It is important that all Ballot lists signed by members on receipt of their ballot papers are also returned to Head Office before midday on Friday next preferably in one of the brown ballot envelopes.

This is a critically important ballot for members of the union. The outcome will dictate the future of the CPSU for the coming years. Considerable work has been put into examining and testing the proposed union structures, resources and in particular it’s potential to improve the working conditions of union members.

Please ensure your members complete and post their ballots, ideally no later than midday this Wednesday to ensure they arrive in Head Office by midday Friday. It is hoped the result of the ballots of each of the three unions will be known by close of business on Friday.

Yours Sincerely,

Eoin Ronayne
General Secretary 

Ann Mc Gee
President

EPSU News 9 November 2017

By CPSU

 

 

 

For Didier Baur
Union leaders returned home last week reinvigorated by the debates at the PSI Congress. Inspired by stories of resistance and progressive alternatives from around the world, unions will coordinate their struggles in our countries, in our regions and in global forums to defend the interests of our members and to stand up for public services. The revelations of the Paradise Papers, exposing tax avoidance by companies and wealthy individuals, underline how important these struggles are. You cannot effectively fight this theft of public revenues if at the same time the resources for tax inspection and other state functions are cut.

This was the message EPSU brought to EU finance ministers which met with the social partners in the frame of the macro-economic dialogue. We need an end to austerity and wage freezes in public services. UK civil servants recently endorsed a campaign to end the policy to cap their salary at 1%. Slovak workers will take to the streets on 9, 16 and 23 November with similar demands.

EPSU stressed the need for investment to ensure the quality of public services. Staffing shortages from tax administration to hospitals and elderly care are becoming critical across Europe. And as the Paradise Papers stress: the funding is there. Our message that tax havens need to be closed down is getting across as finance ministers addressed this in their meeting following the macro-economic dialogue. We reminded them that people expect transparency in taxation and that ministers should support public country-by-country reporting.

An end to austerity is needed to make sure that the EU pillar of social rights does not remain a paper commitment. Unions across Europe will stress this in their actions over the coming weeks that will call for a solid implementation of these rights. These lead up to the EU Summit in Gothenburg where the pillar is to be declared on 17 November. EPSU staff joined an action of the Belgian affiliates this week in support of stronger rights and we will ask affiliates to assist in demanding concrete results.

This newsletter is full of news from the work we do in the different sectors and the progress we make in advancing our joint agenda. This is the work of all of us. It is with sadness that I have to commemorate one of us who contributed so much to our work in the utilities and in particular the energy sector, in the social dialogue and European works councils. Didier Baur died in the night of 7 November. Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends and comrades in France and beyond. Representing the French union CGT-FNME he was a great comrade and dear friend. He assisted EPSU with his sharp analysis and dedication to build a strong European trade union movement that would achieve positive change for workers. I dedicate this newsletter to him and to the work you all do in our joint struggle. Thank you Didier. Thank you all.

Read on to find out more!


PSI World Congress commits to keep fighting for public services and workers over profit

Click here to read more>


EPSU government affiliates tell the Commission: stop stalling information and consultation rights

Click here to read more >


EPSU’s Utilities Committee promotes just transition while condemning liberalisation

Click here to read more >


Report from Standing Committee Health and Social Services

Click here to read more >


Public procurement, digitalization, young workers, equality on the agenda of EPSU committee on Local Government

Click here to read more >


More in this newsletter:

Did you miss our latest Collective Bargaining newsletter? Find it here

EPSU News 19 October 2017

By CPSU

 

 

 

On 18 October the Tripartite Social Summit – bringing together representatives from European employers, trade unions, the European Commission, Council and Presidency – took place. The Summit was an opportunity to consider the state of social Europe. Discussions covered the upcoming Gothenburg summit and the European Pillar of Social Rights; the impact of digitalization on workers, the economy and society; and the need to respect collective bargaining and the role of social dialogue.

The ETUC trade union group argued that the Pillar of Social Rights should be accompanied with concrete proposals to build Social Europe, to protect and promote the interests of workers and ensure decent wages and living conditions for all. Upwards wage convergence is key, especially for workers and people in Central Eastern European countries.

Trade unions expect more tangible proposals from the European Commission. Many workers are not seeing any economic recovery while bankers and many multinationals are filling their coffers with profits. Many public services are facing staff shortages, meaning workers cannot deliver the quality of the services that people deserve. This leads to growing stress, burn-outs, and a lack of balance between professional and family life for our members. This must stop.

As reported in the previous newsletter (Portugal, Spain, Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium…) we see an increase in the mobilisation of public service workers. There is little being offered by employers and governments. And is this what lies ahead for Social Europe? A bonanza for the few and scarcity and good intentions on paper for the many ?

In a few weeks there will be a the EU Social Summit in Gothenburg on the European Pillar of Social Rights. At the Tripartite Social Summit all participants underlined the importance of social progress and the role of social dialogue. EPSU expects to see concrete progress for workers’ rights and including for the millions of public service workers. Read on to find out more!


Tripartite social summit, respecting social dialogue and social partner agreements

Click here to read more >


Wages and public investment feature at Macroeconomic Dialogue

Click here to read more >


Social Rights First say union leaders to the European governments at Fagforbundet Congress

Click here to read more >


Solidarity with Italian firefighters

Click here to read more >


EPSU tells Commission: No sale of patients data!

Click here to read more >


More in this newsletter:

Urgent advice to all members – Red Weather Alert

By CPSU

In the last few hours the entire country has been put on a red weather warning alert. Unfortunately, we are unable to determine if our employers intend to shut until the hurricane passes. Therefore, members need to make their own determination as to whether to attend for work or not. We will represent any member who encounters difficulty due to a decision not to attend. The weather warning suggests to us that only essential workers should risk travelling. CPSU HQ will be closed in the interests of the safety of our staff. We urge all members to proceed safely.

http://www.met.ie/

The New Union Project (FÓRSA trade union) and the CPSU as we are today.

By CPSU

This document is a synopsis of the scenario for our organisation and members should the CPSU amalgamate with IMPACT and the PSEU to form FÓRSA trade union or alternatively vote to remain as we are.
Download information booklet here

FÓRSA trade union – the New Union Project CPSU – as we are

 

Organisation

·       There will be 6 separate and autonomous Divisions – Civil Service, Services & Enterprises, Health, Local Government, Education, and Municipal.

·       No change to any CPSU Branch

·       Branch AGMs and Procedures will stay as they are

·       No change to the election of Branch Officers, Committees and local reps,

·       Branch Nominations to elected office will be unaffected

·       Branches continue to table motions to Conferences

·       No Change to CPSU National Committees

·       Our Executive Committee will be replaced by:

(i) The Civil Service Division Executive which will have equal representation for CPSU & PSEU at 11 seats each with 7 for IMPACT grades in the Service

(ii) CPSU Semi State members (400) will have 2 seats on the Services & Enterprises Division interim Executive with four extra seats added to accommodate our membership and that of the PSEU

(iii) The National Executive Committee with equal representation from the Civil Service & Health Divisions and less

representation from the Services & Enterprises, Local Government/Municipal, and Education Division reflecting the break-down of the membership of the union

Organisation

·       Through Branch restructuring in recent years we now have 70 plus branches – 30 or so less than 15 years ago.

·       The loss of the Staff Officer grade to EO on regrading has meant as many as one in four experienced activists leaving the union.

·       The CPSU is now primarily a single grade Clerical Officer union with some related Departmental grades. This means the Executive has a singular focus on issues that affect these grades.

·       Branch restructuring will continue apace as we cope with this and work to reorganise around newer local representatives

·       The National Committee Structure is where our union facilitates detailed debate on industrial relations issues within Departments. This will continue but the number of representatives will have to be scaled back to reflect the loss of the SO members and the number of meetings reduced to cope with the fall in subscription income

·       Our Executive Committee was designed to represent greater membership and grade levels. The Executive is currently considering plans to reduce its costs through number of meetings and its number of members elected at ADC.

 

 

Subscription Rate

·       CPSU rate of 1% with 0.2% going to Benefit Fund continues

·       New CO recruits and related CPSU Departmental Grades will pay same to protect Benefit Fund for the future

Subscription Rate

·       The rate will continue at 1% as it is set in Rule

Membership

·       Over 80,000 members in multiple grades across the public service and semi-states and private sector.

·       Clerical Officers and their equivalents in the public service make up more than 20,000 plus members

·       Over 50,000 members earn less than €40,000 a year

·       The Civil Service Division will co-ordinate the representation of over 90% of workers in the Service

·       New CO or related grade recruits in the Semi-State, Agencies and Private Sector will be part of the Services & Enterprises Division

Membership

·       Membership has fallen as a result of the Moratorium on Recruitment, retirements and the loss of the SO grade from circa 14,000 in 2009 to under 10,000 in 2017.

·       We need two new CO recruits to join the union to compensate for each of the 1200 SOs which left this year i.e. 2,400. From the start of 2016 to date this year we have only recruited 855 out of over 1800 new CO recruits to the Service

·       We are working to support Branches step up their recruitment of new members. Recruitment by Branch reps is the best way to secure new members for the union

Resources

·       A combined staff of 120 – 67 Industrial Officials and 53 Administration

·       Existing CPSU Officials will transfer to the New Union with their existing allocations and relationships with CPSU National Committees and Branches

·       National Offices in three locations in Dublin with Regional Offices in Sligo, Galway, Limerick and Cork with others under consideration

·       Dedicated Media & Communications, Organising& Recruitment and Information and Rights Units

·       Multiple Training Courses

Resources

·       We currently have 15 staff – 7 fulltime officials and 8 administration staff (6.5 FTE). We supressed a full time official post in late 2016.

·       We have a well appointed Head Office in Dublin but we do not have a Regional Office presence and are unlikely to be in a financial position to expand into the regions.

·       The full time officials are required to share policy and specialist duties with their industrial relations duties.

·       Our Information & Rights Unit is unique within Public Service Unions and we are now combining Training with that unit.

Finance

·       Combined Assets of €85 million

·       Combined Dispute Fund of €50 million

·       Annual Subs Income of €21 million plus

Finance

·       Our Assets including our HQ are just €7.8 million

·       Just over €3 million is set aside for our Contingency or Dispute Fund

·       Our Annual Subs Income has fallen by €1 million a year between 2009 and 2016 and now stands at just under €3.2 million a year.

·       The Executive is currently working on a budget plan to cut expenditure by over €200,000 a year to tackle the annual deficit caused by the fall in subs income- this could include a move to Biennial Conference, less Executive and National Committee Meetings , cuts in Head Office costs etc.

Member Benefits

·       No change to CPSU Optical, Dental & Hospital Scheme

·       Additional new Benefit Package – €5,000 lump sum for sick leave over 12 months, critical illness, personal accident, death of member or members spouse/recognised partners plus legal advice, counselling support phone line services etc.

·       Greater economies of scale will mean cheaper products and services going forward

Member Benefits

·       No change to Optical, Dental & Hospital Scheme planned

·       Benefit Fund running small deficit in recent years

·       Recruitment of new members required to protect benefits going forward

·       Additional benefits not affordable currently

Policy

·       For grade specific issues only Divisional Executive members from that grade will make decisions

·       Each Divisional Executive will have full autonomy on matters that affect that Division alone e.g. no other Division could block the Civil Service approving industrial action following a ballot where the dispute involves only its members.

·       The National Executive will only concern itself with issues which cross two or more Divisions of the union and the day to day management of the staff and resources.

·       The new Equivalent Grade Structure will bring grades from each of the Divisions together to pursue common goals such as pay and conditions e.g. Clerical Officers will link up with their equivalent grades in Education, Local Government and Health to address the differences which exist between them on pay and conditions.

·       Policy will be decided as currently in the CPSU by Delegate Conferences

·       National issues will be decided by a National Conference attended by delegates from every Branch in the union every two years with the first taking place next May.

·       Issues relating to a particular Division such as the Civil Service will be decided at Divisional Conferences to be held every other two years attended by every Branch with members on that Division. The first Divisional Conferences of the Civil Service & Services & Enterprises will take place in April next year.

·       Our Branches will be free to argue and debate as they currently do at our ADC on motions tabled by the Branches in the normal way.

·       The objectives of FÓRSA trade union set out in the Rule Book are wider than those of the CPSU thereby allowing even greater flexibility and opportunity to put forward policies for debate and decision at Conference – more democracy not less.

Policy

·       CPSU policy decisions taken at Annual Conference (ADC) currently.

·       Single CO grade and related Departmental grades means ADC is focused mainly on issues affecting them

·       Budget cuts likely to lead to a Biennial Conference i.e. every two years and also reduced delegate numbers

·       Because of our smaller membership and numbers of grades the Executive Committee has a narrow focus for its work

·       Branches free to table motions and argue and debate in support of them at Conference

·       Motions must be tabled within the Objectives of the union set out in our rule book. These are more narrow that those of the New Union.

 

Strength

·       The New Union will be the second largest union in the Republic and the largest Public Service Union.

·       It can present a single united voice in negotiations at Departmental, Agency, and Company and Governmental level.

·       It will be the dominant force at National Public Service Negotiations well placed to champion the pay and conditions of lower earners as the vast majority of them will be in membership

·       Next to SIPTU it will be a major block at the ICTU capable of influencing other smaller unions and protecting members’ interests within Congress.

·       The media and commentators will be less inclined to ignore the union the way they do other smaller unions such as ourselves in recent years.

Strength

·       While the CPSU is no longer the largest union in the Civil Service following the loss of the SO grade we are still recognised as the voice of the lower paid in the Service

·       We depend on building ad hoc alliances during National Public Service Talks to secure improvements for our members.

·       At local level we need the support of other unions to be able to protect our members.

·       We have consistently declined to take industrial action unless we can guarantee the support of other trade unions working alongside.

·       Industrial Relations law makes it very difficult for another union to support us if we decide to take action in the workplace (ICTU All Out Picket required by ballot of all likely to be involved)

Identity

·       Nothing changes for CPSU members until Executive Committee level. Local Reps, Branch Officers, Head Office Officials will all stay the same in the New Union.

·       CPSU has equal representation to the PSEU within the New Union Structure. Safeguards in terms of voting at Conferences and on the Rules have been built in to ensure no one ‘former union’ can dominate the others

·       A robust complaints process including an external appeal to an independent third party has been put in place for individual and groups of members

·       A Review Process has been provided for in the rules with the potential for referral to external arbitration

·       CPSU activists will be able to argue and promote ideas and policies within the new union just as they do now. They may indeed seek to make common cause with the many former CPSU activists who are members of the two other unions taking part in the amalgamation.

·       There are more lower income members in IMPACT than in the CPSU and through the Equivalent Grade Structure our members will be able to build a platform with them within the New Union to advance the cause of lower paid workers.

Identity

·       We have a proud history and legacy. We have won many battles in the past. We have been recognised over the years as the voice of the lower paid.

·       We fear this voice could be too weak in a new union.

·       We can continue to speak out for the lower paid if we stay as we are but if we join we will have to persuade others of our case

·       We won’t have to compete with other grades of workers to promote our point of view in the media and at the negotiation table.

 

 

129/17 Circular: Executive Committee Recommendation

By CPSU

 To:      All Branch Secretaries, Chairs, Executive members & Head Office Staff
Circ:    129/17
Date:   10th October, 2017
Re:      Executive Committee Recommendation for New Union Ballot – FÓRSA trade union.

Dear Colleagues,

Further to previous Circulars on this matter please bring the following to the attention of your members.

The Executive Committee met again today to consider the outcome of the negotiations on the New Union Project which have been taking place with IMPACT and the PSEU over the last three years or so. There was a detailed debate in which all members of the Executive engaged fully and decided to make a recommendation to the membership.

Over many meetings the Committee has also considered in detail likely changes that will have to be made to our organisation and services given the departure of the SO grade and the implications for our finances and resources in the short to medium term.

The Executive is fully cognisant of our proud history and record of campaigning for lower paid administrative workers but agreed that on balance the New Union Project offers the potential to build an even stronger organisation to fight for our members. It was agreed to issue the attached assessment of the New Union – FÓRSA and the CPSU remaining as we are.

The transition into FÓRSA trade union will be a challenge should the members vote for it but we believe that through the commitment of our members, activists, staff and Executive the CPSU can enter this new union confident that it will help build an organisation committed to better public services for citizens delivered through better public service employment for members.

FÓRSA trade union with our influence and experience can be a stronger voice for public service workers. Having assessed all the options available to the CPSU the Executive decided to recommend that our members Vote YES. This position was supported 15 votes to 4 with no abstentions. Both IMPACT and PSEU Executive Committees have also recommended in favour to their members who will vote in separate concurrent ballots.

Head Office will now work closely with Branch Officers and representatives to arrange General Members’ meetings and workplace meetings between now and the close of the ballot with the receipt of last ballot papers at midday on Friday 17th November. Please contact Moira Haslam Administration Manager mhaslam@cpsu.ie to book a date for same.

Yours Sincerely

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary

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