Having consulted with members, and considering the advice from NPHET on the current infections and number of deaths, OPATSI believe now is not the time to lift the current restrictions in the Construction sector. While construction companies say they are doing everything to operate safely, the mass movement of over a further 100,000 workers across the country we feel, would be simply irresponsible and reckless.
The premature lifting of restrictions we believe will lead, as happened in December, to a further surge in cases which in turn will lead to further deaths.
With almost 700 people having already lost their lives in January, our Hospitals and Health workers are under extreme pressure to maintain a level of care for patients. OPATSI believe that any lifting of restrictions at this time, will inevitably and unnecessarily lead to further implications on the HSE and our healthcare workers who are exposed to the virus on a daily basis.
We understand that workers are suffering and in some cases some more than others, with the loss of loved ones. However our members believe that the proper approach is to remain as we are until such time that the virus is well and truly under containment as advised by NPHET.
Martin Murphy President.
Billy Wall General Secretary.
OPATSI welcomes the decision to close non-essential building sites as part of the new measures announced by Government last night. This will greatly assist front healthcare services in the fight against the Covid 19 corona virus. It will also ensure that Building workers and their families remain as safe as possible for the duration of the crises.
Members who are on the front line working within the HSE are advised to ensure that the implementation of the guidelines on social distancing and hand hygiene are implemented to the full. For those members working in the provision of essential services, the union is engaged with the department in order to clarify their status.
It is with great sadness that we inform members of the passing of our President Bro Sean Irwin today.
Minister Pat Breen has now signed the sectorial employment order taking effect today. Plasterers are now entitled to legal minimums once working in the construction sector. A minimum rate of pay of €18.93 per hour for Plasterers applies with two rates for General Operatives €17.04 for a category 1 Worker and €18.36 for a category 2 Worker. The minimum rates applicable are as follows:
Category 1 Worker - €17.04 per hour.
Category 2 Worker - €18.36 per hour.
Craft worker - €18.93 per hour
Year 1 - 33% of the Craft Rate - €6.22 per hour
Year 2 - 50% of the Craft Rate - €9.46 per hour
Year 3 - 75% of the Craft Rate - €14.19 per hour
Year 4 - 90% of the Craft Rate - €17.04 per hour
New entrant worker - €13.77 per hour
No Travel time applies under the new law
The order also gives rise to a legal entitlement of a pension, a sick pay scheme and a death in service benefit for Plasterers and other workers listed in the grade group or category of worker to which the order applies.
For further information contact the union.
Ireland is experiencing the worst housing and homelessness crisis in its history. Healthcare waiting lists are at an all time high. We have among the highest prevalence of low pay and insecure work in the world. Our school class sizes are among the highest in the EU. And our political system is rife with corruption and scandals. But it doesn't have to be this way.
The Right2Change Trade Unions (OPATSI, Communications Workers' Union, Mandate Trade Union and Unite the Union) are calling a conference of trade unionists, political activists and community activists to establish whether a coordinated fight-back through cooperation can be established.
We believe another Ireland is possible and we are encouraging everyone else who shares a vision for a fairer, more equal Ireland to join us on Saturday, 4th November 2017 to discuss a pathway towards achieving a truly egalitarian Republic.
We would encourage all members to attend and you can get your tickets here
The Opatsi Operative Plasterers & Allied Trades Society of Ireland Biennial Conference (2017) was held at the City of Dublin Workingman's Club at Little Strand Street, Dublin 7 on June 17th 2017.
We're happy to report that it was a very successful gathering with a high turnout and you can read more about it and view details (including a picture gallery) and download a copy of the brochure on the Opatsi Conference 2017 page.