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Last week, Young Fine Gael made an excellent attempt to outdo their daddy party in the contempt for the commoners race when their proposal of an “Earned income Tax Credit” surfaced on Broadsheet.ie.
In a recommendation full of political buzzwords that comes right out of an essay by a 3rd year Law and Economics student, this proposed ‘twofold strategy’ would see a ‘restructure’ of how minimum wage is paid by employers which would take €2 off what businesses had to pay minimum wage employees. So instead of the 8.65 employers would normally pay an experienced employee, they would pay only 6.65. For workers under the age of 18, this new pay rate would see them be paid only 4.06 by employers. But don’t worry folks, that two euro that your boss isn’t paying you will be given back to you in the form of a tax credit by the government (read taxpayers/yourself) so it all works out even in the end right? Read the rest of this entry »
This week students in NUIG are being asked to vote on whether their union’s pro-choice position should be repealed. Sarah McCarthy writes on why students should reject this proposal.
Last year, NUIG students voted overwhelmingly in favour of our union adopting a pro-choice position. Over 70% of votes cast agreed that our union should play an active role in the campaign for reproductive rights in Ireland. However we are being asked to vote on the issue again, just one year later. On Thursday March 6th, you will be asked to vote on whether the pro-choice position should be repealed and a “neutral” position adopted. Why should you vote No? Read the rest of this entry »
Frank Doherty enlightens us on whether armed struggle is necessary in Ireland today….
“War; what is it good for?! Absolutely Nothing”… but death, destruction and the wrecking of lives. That’s why the default position for everyone should be explicitly anti-war, especially given its historical record as a category of human endeavour.
However human conflict does exist in today’s society both on the individual level and that of the polity or globalised society as witnessed in the drunk fight, the economic conflict between worker and boss, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Troubles in our own country and various other imperialisms around the world. As Plato said, “[…] only the dead who have seen the end of war” and today it rages all over the planet; not just the types involving states and standing armies and territories but all war; taking as our broad definition human conflict, mediated or resolved through use of lethal violence.
So when to advocate violence or, put differently, under which circumstances if any should we break from a principle of nonviolence?
– Aoife Campbell writes about a new campaign launched today which aims to improve accessibility to the Morning After Pill in Ireland.
The debate surrounding the legalisation of abortion in Ireland has dominated both national and international media discourse, exploding particularly in the last twelve months. Full reproductive emancipation of women and the right to safe, legal and accessible health care in Ireland challenges traditional and detrimentally Catholic social policy, denounces the entitlement or importance of religious views in the health care of others and holds firm that, despite centuries of social and political subordination; women are in fact the experts, rulers and legislators of their own bodies. Bearing this agenda in mind, there is no better hour than now to examine policies governing reproductive rights already legalised in Ireland; the reality of their accessibility and the experiences of women who choose to access them. One such being – emergency hormonal contraception, or ‘the morning after pill’. Read the rest of this entry »
From Voice for Teachers Facebook page….
Classroom teachers, SNAs, Secretaries, Caretakers, Classroom Assistants, Computer Teachers, School Administrative Assistants, Office Administrators, Sports/PE Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists…
These are just some of the positions that have been advertised by primary schools on the JobBridge website overthe past couple of weeks. In fact, in that period of time primary schools have advertised over 170 positions.
This past Monday(26 August) marked 100 years to the day of the commencement of the great Lockout of 1913. While official commemoration events are planned for this weekend. for the day that was in it, RTE that evening screened a special episode of Nationwide. The first half of the show fittingly featured the beautiful commemorative Lockout tapestry being put together by volunteers with the help of artist Robert Ballagh.
The second part, however, championed the owner of a small chain of curtain stores of the time who “bravely stuck his head above the parapet” and refused to join in the bosses’ lockout. With much fawning, the segment praised his efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table. Apparently, it was to his eternal credit that he disagreed with the other bosses literally starving half the city to break the union..!
Only the anti-worker establishment could take the momentous and infinitely political story of new unionism(aka “Larkinism”) in Ireland – in its apex of the great 1913 Dublin Lockout – and sideline the self-agency of the working class in its most epic moment. The story of Larkinism and the Lockout is one of direct, brutal class struggle between the workers of Ireland and the bosses of Ireland, not the embryonic corporatism of social partnership advocated by RTE in their chosen micro-history.
Expecting this obscuring of the workers’ story by elites; a small group of young unemployed, students, precarious workers(and combinations thereof) got together at the beginning of the year to form the 1913 Unfinished Business collective with an aim of countering the neutering of our history by elite commemorations such as the RTE Nationwide episode. Instead, we seek to make prominent our history of radical struggle, which we believe is incredibly relevant with the return of white-hot class war being waged from above by bosses on the working class of Ireland since 2008.
By drawing on the real inspiring events of the Lockout period and stories of the likes of Jim Larkin, James Connolly, Rosie Hackett, Constance Markievicz and others – we recorded a podcast series, culminating in the series finale released on Monday(embed below). We hope by using our incredibly rich past to talk about the present, we can locate its contemporary relevance to inspire young people in particular to preach Larkin’s “divine mission of discontent” in future. Stay tuned.
Episode 6 Description
In our final episode of the 1913 Lockout podcast series we look at how workers can organise today to meet the challenges we face.We take a critical look at the state of the Irish trade union movement today and explore what needs to be changed.
We speak with Joe Carolan, Organiser with Unite, on his experience with organising Fast Food Workers in New Zealand and hear from Esther Lynch, Legal and Legislative Officer ICTU, on the legislative framework for Irish trade unions. Derek Keenan, chair of the ICTU Youth Committee, speaks to us about what the trade union response has been to Job Bridge and Kieran Allen, Lecturer and Shop Steward, addresses the history of social partnership.
This episode also takes a look at a form of community unionism as advocated by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.
The series concludes with group discussion on the need for a reinvigorated mass movement of workers to fight back against bosses, and where to go from here.
Contributors: Moira Murphy, Pádraig Madden, Ronan Burtenshaw, Shane Fitzgerald, Eoin Griffin, and Jen O’Leary.
Produced by: Moira Murphy
Music by Lynched & Lawless.
Thanks to: Joe Carolan, Esther Lynch, Derek Keenan, Kieran Allen
Interesting little piece from Aidan Rowe on an Irish nationwide university speaking tour of a Canadian speaker from the mass student strikes in Quebec in 2012. If anyone would like to help organising at your university level, or know anyone who would be, link is at the bottom of the piece.
In 2012 the attempt by the government to Quebec to introduce a 75% fee hike was defeated by the organisation of a mass student strike that lasted over 6 months. That fee increase was part of the global process of imposing the privatisation and commodification of education. Since the victory, organisers of the strike have been being doing speaking tours to aid the process whereby “youth and students everywhere are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to organize as a means to defend education as a social right”. In September this tour reaches Ireland where we need to hear how a sustained and militant student movement that can win is built. We want you to help in ensuring a really good turnout for all of the Irish dates of the tour.
There are two purposes to the tour. Firstly so that we Read the rest of this entry »
– Finding a decent place to live with housemates you don’t want to kill by the end of the year can be surprisingly difficult! Here, Anna Ryan from UCD shares her hard-earned wisdom in the field of house-hunting.
- Thou shalt choose your housemates wisely. It’s said that you never really know someone until you live with them. Very true. You’ll become intimately familiar with each other’s drinking habits, hygiene, music tastes etc. You and your best friend might become total hated enemies after living with each other for nine months, purely because one person is extremely clean and the other is not. Think long and hard before you move in with your girl/boy-friend or your best friend. If you are one person moving into a house with people already living in it, things become much more difficult. Talk to everyone in the house before you agree to rent the room. It really, really makes your college year a strain if you don’t get on with the people that you live with, so be very careful. Read the rest of this entry »
Padraig McCarrick gives us the lowdown on the new depths to which JobBridge is plummeting to…
Last week we saw the JobBridge National Internship Scheme post an ad for a 9 month ‘internship’ for a primary school teacher. The advertisement goes to say that ‘interns’ (read as exploited teacher) will “receive formal/informal training in the following classroom management, self evaluation and classroom evaluation, Interactive white board skills, I.T. skills to enhance classroom teaching, acquire knowledge of suitable I.T. resources. Whole school development training in Literacy and Numeracy. On completion the intern will have attained skills in I.T. use of interactive white board in classroom, be able to access relevant, suitable resources.” For this, an unemployed teacher will receive €50 extra on top of their weekly social welfare payment for doing the exact same job as fully employed teachers with the exact same qualification.