Language teachers at Delfin English Language School, in Dublin held a three-hour work stoppage today in support of their demands for union recognition, a pay increase and proper holiday pay. This was an historic day as this is the first official dispute at a language school and the first school to have 100% union membership. The teachers are members of UNITE. People Before Profit fully supports their campaign.
According to UNITE management have totally failed to address the concerns of the workforce in relation to three main areas of contention: the need for pay to reflect the increased cost of living, the volume of unpaid work done by English Language Teachers on a daily basis, and the fact that teachers are left with no choice but to sign on for social welfare payments over the Christmas period.
The management refuses to engage with the union and recognise UNITE
Brid Smith TD said it was “a disgrace the way these workers were treated. It is not acceptable that employers do not have to recognise unions when workers join them. It is totally unacceptable when 100% of the workers are in the union”. She called for the immediate establishment of a Joint Labour Committee which could issue an Employment Regulation Order to address the working conditions and pay of English Language Teachers. This was recommended in July in the report on the Commercial English Language Education Sector. Although accepted by the government the JLO has still to be established.
The workers at Delfin have shown how to deal with bad conditions and pay. JLO or not determined action is need to force management to deal with the union. PBP urges everyone to support the strikers in whatever way they can.