Govt urged to engage with unions and organisations representing employment services workers

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galway daily news claire kerrane at dáil

A Roscommon-Galway TD has called on the Government to urgently engage with trade unions and organisations representing those working in employment services.

Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane says that SIPTU and FÓRSA have requested a meeting with the Taoiseach to discuss the long-running dispute with the Department of Social Protection over the future provision of Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs.

This follows their statement that the Department of Social Protection has refused to engage in an exploratory talks process as proposed by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Deputy Kerrane said that she shares the disbelief of many about the lack of engagement with unions and organisations representing staff working in employment services.

“Despite the importance of employment services, we have seen the government’s determination to proceed with selling off these crucial services and supports,” she said.

“I have called on the Minister to halt the process of tendering employment services many times, but she chose not to listen.

“She refused to listen to the staff, the unions, the cross-party Committee on Social Protection, the Public Accounts Committee and the will of the Members of the Dáil, who unanimously supported our recent Dáil Motion to protect the current not-for-profit community based model.”

Deputy Kerrane called on the Minister to listen to those working in LES and Job Clubs throughout the entire tender process, but she decided to ignore their concerns.

“We are now in a position where many of the staff providing these community-based services face losing their jobs.

“Last week I again called on the Minister to engage with unions and representative organisations regarding potential job losses and the future of employment services. Yet another call that has so far been unanswered,” said the Roscommon-Galway TD.