SIPTU members demand FAI management attend WRC to discuss pay dispute

Padraig Conlon 21 Feb 2024

SIPTU members employed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have demanded that management respond to a request from the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to attend a meeting to discuss a long-running pay dispute.

SIPTU Shop Steward and FAI Football Development Officer, Paul Keogh, explained:

“After many months of fruitless attempts to resolve pay issues directly with management, staff within the FAI have been left with no option but to refer this dispute to the WRC.

“Since the start of the tenure of the current FAI Chief Executive Officer in 2020, management has refused to sit down with union representatives to negotiate the pay and conditions of staff.

“At the core of the dispute is a flawed benchmarking process that was initiated by the current FAI Chief Executive Officer.

“This process fails to acknowledge the sharp rise in the cost of living for workers.

“The Association also has no proper pay grades, pay scales or bonus structure.”

SIPTU Shop Steward and FAI Football Development Officer, Paul Whelan, said: “Our members have previously requested assistance in this long-running dispute from Sport Ireland, the statutory authority that oversees and partly funds sporting bodies.

“Unfortunately, the response was that Sport Ireland does not involve itself in such issues. This resulted in our members referring the outstanding issues to the WRC.”

“Our members are furious that when the organisation is attempting to rebuild its reputation, after several difficult years, staff are being treated in such a dismissive manner by management.”

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Teresa Hannick, said: “The lack of respect management has shown our members is not fitting of a national sporting body.

“Our members have presented a reasonable pay proposal. The FAI has now failed to respond, within the allotted period, to a request by the WRC to attend a conciliation meeting with union representatives.

“In recent weeks controversy has been caused by the issue of annual leave payments to the CEO, whose own salary is linked with that of the public service.

“Such a link to public service pay is being sought by our members, yet management will not even discuss this possibility with union representatives.”

She added: “The many SIPTU members employed by the FAI at its headquarters in Abbottstown in Dublin and around the country will no longer accept the intransigence of management.

“The FAI engages in collective bargaining within the League of Ireland and with its national teams. It must accept that it will do the same with its directly employed staff.”

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