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Union threat as bus routes ‘privatised’

The National Bus and Rail Union warns the government of major industrial unrest if it continues to outsource public bus routes to private, for-profit companies. The warning “came after it was confirmed that Bus Éireann has lost six bus routes in the Dublin Commuter Area along the Kildare corridor to one of Britain’s largest bus operators, GoAhead.” Workers rights and wages are imperiled. “Asked whether workers’ rights, pay scales and union clauses would be recognised under the tender, [NTA chief executive Anne Graham] said it would be up to the operator to implement pay scales. She said the agreement did not include union recognition but that Go Ahead would have to comply with all industrial relations legislation.”

Source: www.irishexaminer.com

Extra beds and staff to end hospital crisis'

Health Minister Simon Harris’ commitment to use private hospitals to alleviate the critical bed shortage is criticized by lawmakers. “Sinn Féin health spokesman Louise O'Reilly was critical of what she said was privatization of public healthcare. ‘This is a poor reflection on the government and in particular Simon Harris,’ she said. ‘This Fine Gael-led government allowed the crisis in our health sector to reach unprecedented levels and now it seems even more funding will be diverted into the private sector, away from the public sector. Mr. Harris needs to provide us with full details of how much this is costing and what services in the public health service will be cut back to pay for this. It is vital that patients are seen and treated but this should be happening in the public service.’”

Source: www.pressreader.com

Outsourcing has become an issue in public sector pay negotiations

Outsourcing has become an issue in public sector pay negotiations. “Civil Public and Services Union general secretary Eoin Ronayne told his members in a posting on its website that the wish list tabled by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform contains items rejected by the unions during the Haddington Road and Lansdowne Road Agreement talks. (…) In discussions regarding outsourcing yesterday, sources said the Government appears to be seeking to weaken the controls which exist on how services can be given over to the private sector. At present, a business case must be presented as to why the service should be outsourced, and that business case is not allowed to include labour costs. It is feared that if labour costs were to be included, the private sector could offer the service at the lowest possible wage and most basic conditions — it would leave little chance that the public service could compete.”

Source: www.irishexaminer.com

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