Date Released: 20 November 2014
SIPTU members in the Kerry Women’s Refuge and Support Services, based in Tralee, Co. Kerry, commenced industrial action on Tuesday, 18th November, in a dispute concerning a unilateral change to workers' shift patterns.
The decision to commence industrial action at the facility follows a management decision to impose changes to workers’ shift patterns, without agreement, on Monday, 3rd November. This move resulted in an up to 50% reduction in work for out of hours support staff and severe consequential effects for other workers in the service.
SIPTU Community Sector Organiser, Eddie Mullins, said: “The industrial action involved SIPTU members withdrawing their labour and mounting a picket at the main entrance to the refuge from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. This action will be repeated each subsequent Tuesday until this dispute is resolved.
“SIPTU members have stopped performing any duties previously carried out by Community Employment participants which include maintenance, childcare, housekeeping, laundry, reception, collecting donations and opening the playroom. During the period of the dispute SIPTU members will also refuse to co-operate with any fundraising for the facility”.
Eddie Mullins added: “Our members are dedicated and committed in their work within the refuge. However, they now feel mistreated by their employer and this goes against the very ethos of the refuge itself. SIPTU members are saddened by the approach taken by the Board of Directors in their handling of the situation and believe that it has breached its own standards in respect of its employees”.
Kerry Women’s Refuge operates as a not for profit organisation and is registered as a charity. It is run by a voluntary board of directors which employs one manager and seven full-time staff. The facility provides services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.