Childminding Ireland staff seek Wicklow TDs’ support


Anne McCourtney Bernie Griffiths Fiona Turner Jacquie Donnelly
Anne McCourtney, Bernie Griffiths, Fiona Turner, Jacquie Donnelly

Staff at Childminding Ireland, who have been on strike for over a week, have written to Wicklow’s five TDs to seek their support in their dispute over compulsory redundancies. Their union IMPACT has today (Tuesday) contacted John Brady (Sinn Féin), Pat Casey (Fianna Fáil), Stephen Donnelly (Social Democrats), and ministers Andrew Doyle and Simon Harris of Fine Gael.

The strike, at the organisation’s office in the Bullford business campus in Kilcoole, began on Tuesday 7th June and is set to continue until management at the organisation withdraws the compulsory redundancy notices and enters meaningful talks over proposed restructuring plans.

IMPACT official Stella Griffin told local TDs that the proposed redundancies were unnecessary, and urged them to try to get management at the state funded agency to negotiate a solution to the dispute.

Ms Griffin wrote: “Childminding Ireland has refused to engage seriously in a conciliation organised by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), although it has misleadingly told journalists that it has conducted a four-month consultation. In fact, no meaningful consultation has taken place.”

Childminding Ireland is a state-funded body, which is not experiencing financial difficulties. IMPACT says management has failed to produce a business case to justify job losses.

“We believe that Childminding Ireland is illegally threatening redundancies to force administrative and specialist staff out of their jobs before replacing them with others. Childminding Ireland has had plenty of opportunities to explain why it thinks restructuring and redundancies are necessary, and it has consistently failed to do so,” said Ms Griffin.

IMPACT assured the five Wicklow deputies that it is available to resolve the issue through negotiations in the Workplace Relations Commission. ”This is very worrying time for the people concerned. I am, therefore, seeking your support for these constituents,” wrote Ms Griffin.