Childminding Ireland staff take protest to Minister Zappone as strike enters third week


IMPACT members protested outside the Department of Children and Youth Affairs this afternoon (Tuesday) in support of staff of Childminding Ireland, who have been on strike since 7th June in a dispute over compulsory redundancies at the State-funded body.

Workers handed in a letter to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, asking her to use her influence to require management to engage in meaningful talks to resolve the row, which today enters its third week.

In the letter to Minister Zappone, IMPACT deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan wrote: “Management at Childminding Ireland have shown a total disregard for the Workplace Relations Commission. Rather than engage in constructive negotiations, they have issued loyal staff with redundancy notices and told them they may be able to re-apply for their jobs at some unspecified time in the future.

“I hope that you will agree that such disregard for the State’s industrial relations machinery – and, indeed, for basic decency and respect in the workplace – is unacceptable in an organisation that is primarily funded by the public purse. I am requesting that, as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, you use your influence, and that of your Department, to require Childminding Ireland to engage in normal negotiations through the State’s industrial relations bodies.”

IMPACT says the strike at the organisation’s office in the Bullford business campus in Kilcoole, County Wicklow, is set to continue until management withdraws compulsory redundancy notices and enters meaningful talks over proposed restructuring plans. The union says it remains available to discuss restructuring, but says redundancies are unnecessary as Childminding Ireland is not experiencing financial difficulties and has produced no business case to justify job losses.

IMPACT official Stella Griffin said: “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 conducted a four-month consultation. In fact, no meaningful consultation has taken place. Management has had many opportunities to explain why it thinks restructuring and redundancies are necessary, and it has consistently failed to do so.”