In line with the union’s support for equality the NIPSA General Council has agreed to support the Foyle Pride Festival.
 
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Foyle Pride.  The Festival will run from Saturday 18 August to Saturday 25 August 2018.  The Pride Parade will take place on Saturday 25 August 2018 departing at 2.00pm from the Waterside Train Station and proceeding to Guildhall Square.  For more information on the Parade and other festival events visit the website.
 
On behalf of the General Council we wish to encourage branches and members to take part in the week’s activities and particularly the Pride Parade on Saturday 25 August 2018.  The NIPSA LGB&T banner and flags will be carried on the Parade.
 

Alison Millar

General Secretary

NIPSA, the largest public sector trade union in Northern Ireland can announce that, following almost three years of protracted negotiations and legal action against The Executive Office (formerly OFMDFM) and the Strategic Investment Board, a substantial six figure settlement has been made with 4 NIPSA members who lodged cases for unfair dismissal by the Derry-Londonderry based regeneration body, ILEX.  Alison Millar, NIPSA General Secretary said:

"When the staff of ILEX were advised in October 2015 that the organisation was to close by the end of the financial year and they would lose their jobs, it was a huge shock to them.  This came following a review of ILEX, during which its Board had been assured that there would be no surprises when the review report was published.

"At the time, NIPSA argued vehemently that, as some of the work of ILEX was being transferred to The Executive Office and the Strategic Investment Board, its staff should also transfer under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employees Regulations (TUPE).

"This was rejected out of hand, the staff lost their jobs and NIPSA was forced into lodging Industrial Tribunal proceedings for our members.

"Without membership of the union, these individuals would not have been in a position to take a legal challenge themselves, so on their behalf, we are very pleased that NIPSA and our brave members have been totally vindicated.  While no financial compensation can replace someone's job and the trauma that these unfair dismissals caused, the substantial six figure settlement reached in these cases shows that The Executive Office and the SIB were wrong in dismissing these individuals.  As a result, this is money which will now come out of the public purse to compensate the individuals concerned."

John McShane of McCartan Turkington Breen (MTB) Solicitors who represented NIPSA in the landmark case said,

"This action on behalf of NIPSA's members has resulted in one of the largest employment law settlements of its kind in Northern Ireland.  Employment law exists for the legal protection of the rights and responsibilities of both the employee and the employer and TUPE Regulations are well-known for providing employee protection when a business changes hands.  We are very pleased with the outcome for our clients.  This is a stark warning to employers of any size or sector that they should obtain legal advice in relation to their responsibilities to employees, as this case clearly shows that the financial implications of not following the legal protections of TUPE can be very serious indeed."

Tony McMullan the NIPSA Official who represented the members throughout said:

"Our members who worked in ILEX were treated disgracefully.  They went through considerable trauma at being made redundant and undeniably, their professional reputations were tarnished by the public speculation and discussion around the future of ILEX.  The staff have everything to be proud of in the development of Ebrington and the Fort George site.  The iconic Peace Bridge is there for all to see and a unique testament to the work, imagination, commitment and dedication of the staff concerned.

"This substantial settlement is a strong indication that the staff and NIPSA were fully justified in lodging tribunal applications.  NIPSA is delighted for our members but of course we wish they had not had to undergo the concern and stress they have faced over the last 3 years."

Employers should be aware that NIPSA will not allow our members to be treated in an unfair and unjust manner and will use the resources of the union to ensure that justice is achieved.

 

A groundbreaking emergency trade union meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) employees has passed a vote of no confidence in its CEO with a ballot for potential industrial action called.

All 4 recognised trade unions NIPSA, SIPTU, UNITE and GMB rallied in large numbers on Wednesday night at Ballybot House in the city as relations between staff and management reached "an all time low".

A vote of no confidence on the Council's HR (Human Resources) had already been passed on to the Staff Commission concerning restructuring and job matching in the new super-council structure.

Joint Trade Union Secretary Kim Graham (NIPSA), told the Newry Reporter that 'angered'  union members had called for the no confidence in Liam Hannaway from the floor, with the vast majority of members supporting the action.  

"There is a toxic atmosphere amongst the union members and the Management at NMDDC", said Ms Graham.  At a packed meeting it was further decided that a public protest by hundreds of the unions' members take place at the next NMDDC full meeting this September in Downpatrick.

"I have met with the NMDDC Chair, Mark Murnin, and we now plan on lobbying all parties and councillors of NMDDC to listen and understand to what is being put forward by Management.

"We are ready for a long campaign and if necessary we will be ready to put forward legal challenges.  However, if the Council Management is willing to sit down and constructively and genuinely engage with us we will be willing to do so."

"Going forward we ask that all policies are signed off by the 4 joint unions so that all our members, Management and Councillors will know exactly what has been agreed to and what has not", added Ms Graham.

NIPSA has expressed concerns regarding the recently released response to a public consultation on the future delivery of electoral services.  A public consultation was held from October 2016 to January 2017 and a number of responses were received.  District Councils, Politicians and Trade Unions responded to a wide range of questions set out in the consultation.

Rally, Belfast City Hall, Saturday 23rd June, 11.30 a.m. 

United Against Racism has organised a rally in Belfast on Saturday 23 June at 11.30 am to send a clear message to the far right, that they and their rhetoric, are not welcome here. It is also an opportunity to send a strong message of solidarity to minority groups that they are welcome and that NIPSA and the trade unions stand strong beside them in ensuring that they are protected against bigotry, racism and Islamophobia.

This will be a peaceful demonstration and United Against Racism has been working closely with the police and stewards will be in attendance at the event.

NIPSA will have banners and flags available on Saturday and I would encourage as many members as possible to attend this event and demonstrate our commitment to support minority groups and make them welcome in this society.

Alison Millar

General Secretary