Staff at Childminding Ireland are set to begin indefinite strike action from next month unless management withdraws compulsory redundancy notices, according to trade union representatives.
The Impact union is also calling on management at the organisation to engage with staff over proposed restructuring plans.
Five of the six staff at Childminding Ireland were issued with individual redundancy notices approximately six weeks ago, even though Impact says the State-funded body “is not experiencing financial difficulties and has produced no business plan to justify redundancies”.
In a statement last night, Bernadette Burke, Childminding Ireland CEO, said they were “undergoing a restructuring” and that all staff have been invited to apply for roles in the new structure.
However the total number of new posts “is less than the current staffing numbers, so unfortunately there will be some redundancies”.
Ms Burke said Childminding “remains committed to resolving this dispute through agreement if possible”.
Impact official Barry Cunningham said the union believes Childminding Ireland is illegally threatening redundancies to force staff out of their jobs before replacing them with others.
He said while management claims the staff will be able to apply for “as-yet-unspecified” new roles in a restructured organisation, the union believes the new roles will be constructed to exclude them.
“Childminding Ireland is a representative body, not a childcare provider. Yet it has indicated that it will, in future, insist that administrative, communications, and accounts staff have childcare qualifications,” said Mr Cunningham.
“There is no objective reason for this. The real rationale is simply to get rid of the well-qualified and loyal staff they currently have.”
Impact has issued Childminding Ireland with notice that the industrial action will commence on June 7.
It says this allows management a final opportunity to resolve the issue through negotiations in the Workplace Relations Commission.
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