Date Released: 11 December 2013
SIPTU has set up a committee to deal with equality issues in Northern Ireland.The SIPTU Northern Ireland Equality Committee will be comprised of activists drawn from across the union’s membership with the first meeting scheduled for early 2014.
The Committee’s focus will be on equality issues affecting working people and those who rely on public services in Northern Ireland. The decision by the Northern Ireland District Committee (NIDC) to create the new body results from the high degree of interest shown in the position of Northern Ireland representative on the SIPTU Equality Committee.
Following an election in late November, Ernie Devlin was nominated to represent union members in Northern Ireland on the SIPTU Equality Committee.
After his election, Ernie, who is a SIPTU shop steward in the Newry and Mourne District Council, said: "I am delighted to have been selected as a delegate to the SIPTU Equality Committee, and I look forward to working with fellow activists to address the equality agenda.
“I am also looking forward to working with colleagues on the NIDC to develop campaigns to best protect our membership.”
SIPTU is currently campaigning, along with a number of civil society organisations north of the border, for a Bill of Rights that would ensure legal protection for the rights of all citizens irrespective of what section of the community they come from. The British and Irish governments gave a commitment to introduce a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland in the Good Friday Agreement. However, 15 years after the document was endorsed in a public vote, little progress has been made on the issue.