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Kells Credit Union "disappointed" at plans for further strike action

Staff are due to strike on Saturday 3 August at the Credit Union as part of a dispute over collective bargaining.

Members of staff at Kells Credit Union on strike
Members of staff at Kells Credit Union on strike
Image: Aaron McNicholas

KELLS CREDIT UNION has said it is “disappointed” that strike action is due to continue this weekend.

Staff members began industrial action on 27 June in response to what their union SIPTU described as “management failure to recognise their union, SIPTU, for collective bargaining purposes”.

SIPTU sector organiser Adrian Kane said that it was “unacceptable” that management would not do this, and that further industrial action would take place if “management does not implement the terms of the Labour Court recommendation which determined that it should recognise the workers’ union”.

Up to 30 people gathered outside St Colmcille’s Credit Union in Kells as part of the dispute on Saturday.

Disappointed

This morning, a statement from St Colmcille’s Credit Union in Kells said: “We are very disappointed that SIPTU has decided to take further strike action.”

A staff member at the Credit Union confirmed to TheJournal.ie today that strike action will take place again on Saturday 3 August, with further strike action planned for 8 and 9 August if necessary.

A statement from the Board of St Colmcilles (Kells) Credit Union today said that the Credit Union “has always recognised the right of its staff to join a trade union, this is clearly stated in the Kells Credit Union Employee Handbook”.

SIPTU has complained that Kells Credit Union has declined to recognise SIPTU for collective bargaining purposes. This is distinct from and different to the claim by SIPTU that there is a refusal to recognise the right of a worker to join a trade union.

It described Kells Credit Union as “a small local institution, with 9 members of staff, all of different grades and different allocated duties”.

The Credit Union believes that collective bargaining in this particular instance would not be appropriate. Kells Credit Union values each and every member of staff and is more than happy to deal with each staff member and their union representative based on their individual circumstances rather than collectively.

The statement added that Kells Credit Union “never had an issue that was not satisfactorily resolved with their staff”.

“When the staff originally joined the trade union, this was to seek advice on the Credit Union potentially placing the staff onto a reduced working week,” it pointed out, adding that “it was at this stage that the trade union raised the issue of Collective Bargaining and it is the trade union that has continued to issue demands for collective bargaining taking no account of the wishes of the Board of Management who represent the members”.

Collective Bargaining is not a statutory entitlement and St Colmcilles (Kells) Credit Union is not in breach of any legislation by adopting this position.

Kells Credit Union serves approximately 9,000 members in the local community and said it will continue to provide a wide range of financial services to its existing and growing membership.

Read: Credit Union staff claim management won’t engage with their trade union>

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