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Strike action looms at Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service

 

 

 

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Domestic Violence

BY C.J.MCGINLEY

Industrial action threat looms at Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service

The country’s largest public sector trade union, IMPACT has confirmed that it is to conduct a ballot of union members at Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service over what the union has described as reckless decisions by management to cut the hours of workers.

IMPACT North West Assistant General Secretary, Richy Carrothers said “Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence have written to staff advising that as of the 4th May 2015 the hours of all workers will be cut, this will obviously lead to a pay cut. To date the employer has not advised as to the extent of the cut but for sure it will lead to the curtailment of essential services for some of the most vulnerable women in Donegal and across the North West living with physical, sexual and psychological abuse. For many of these women this service represents a lifeline that may not be available when they need it most”.

“IMPACT believe that there is a moral imperative to protect the service, but also the unilateral cut will also be a breach of contract. In the last two years a Rights Commissioner has found that Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service unlawfully withheld money due on two separate occasions to 5 staff – the employers case collapsed at the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the union is now having to seek an enforcement order for payment at Letterkenny Circuit Court. The reason this is relevant is that an organisation dedicated
to the protection, support and advocacy of women have serially been abusing their own exclusively female staff over the last numbers of years as they have set out to dismantle their contracts of employment”.

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“We can no longer tolerate this situation and the staff intend on standing up for themselves and say stop! IMPACT will seek a mandate from members to engage in industrial action up to and including strike action as a pre-emptive step to protect workers. It is however, our preference to reach a negotiated settlement and protect services without the need for us to engage in industrial action”.

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