“Since I was honoured to be appointed Fórsa general secretary earlier this year, I’ve made it my business to talk to as many branches, activists and members as time allows. More to the point, I’ve been listening.
This is particularly important as we head into a busy and highly significant new year, which will see a general election, the negotiation of the next public service pay agreement, and continued talks across the semi-state and private sector.
I have been adamant that Fórsa members must benefit fully from these negotiations and, early in my stewardship of the union, I made it clear that the restoration of working time would be a priority for this union in any talks.
This year, I’ve also set in train a comprehensive review of the union’s practices and procedures with a view to improving services to members, increasing our appeal to young people and other potential members, and strengthening our voice in local communities and national public and political debates.
This will be vital in the run-up to the coming general election, when I will be seeking your help to put the incomes and working conditions of Fórsa members firmly on the political agenda, along with important issues like housing and homelessness, our health services, workers’ rights including in education, pay restoration in the community and voluntary sector, and rebuilding local democracy and local services.
Next year will also see many challenges across the globe. Fórsa will continue to work with ICTU to protect workers and their communities from the impact of Brexit and to work in solidarity for justice, equality and peace here and around the world – including through our developing world fund.
But right now, I wanted to take this end-of-year opportunity to thank you for your continued membership of Fórsa, and for the support you’ve shown to our hard-working workplace representatives, who give up their time and effort to improve working life for our members. My heartfelt thanks to them too.
I wish you joy over the break, and hope you have a safe and happy Christmas. Then, working together, let’s do our best to ensure a successful and prosperous new year for working people here in Ireland and around the world.”
Fórsa General Secretary