FAI’s refusal of employees’ right to collective bargaining to go to Labour Court

by Gazette Reporter
0 comment

SIPTU members employed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have accused the Board of the sporting organisation of denying them the right to be part of a team in the workplace and will be referring the issue of their right to collectively bargain to the Labour Court.

FAI Football Development Officer and SIPTU Shop Steward, Paul Keogh, said, “As sporting coaches, I and my colleagues know the importance of teamwork in achieving results. That is also why we are members of SIPTU. However, our employer is refusing to even respond to requests by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) about re-engaging with our Union on a number of outstanding issues affecting FAI workers.

“We have reached out to Board member, Liz Joyce, who oversees the FAI remuneration committee, numerous times to meet and nothing has been forthcoming. Similarly, the new FAI chairperson, Tony Keohane, has failed to meet staff representatives despite requests. We believe it goes against the ethos of the sporting organisation to deny the right of collective bargaining to its employees and shows a lack of respect to the State by failing to respond to one of its agencies.”

He added, “The FAI has negotiated collectively with referees, the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland and the women of the senior national team, so what the staff are simply asking for is equal treatment. What we have proposed in terms of pay rises reflects the financial situation of the Association of which we are very conscious.” 

FAI Football Development Officer and SIPTU Shop Steward, Paul Whelan, said: “As workers for the FAI, we want what is best for football in Ireland. The organisation has had its ups and downs over the years. A strong workers’ voice is needed within the organisation, not just to ensure workers get fair play but also to help foster good governance into the future.”

SIPTU Services Divisional Organiser, Teresa Hannick, said, “The staff have been extremely patient with management. However, it is clear that no matter how persuasive and correct our arguments are in favour of our members’ right to collectively bargain their conditions of employment, management are just not listening. It is obvious that the FAI has not been honest with either ourselves or the WRC. We have been left with no option but to refer the issue to the Labour Court.”

She added, “The Union will be meeting with our Shop Stewards and others in the coming days in preparation for a campaign that will seek to ensure the FAI engages in fair play both on and off the pitch.” 

Related Articles