• All-Ireland Campaign for Free Education
    Higher education in Ireland has been turned into a money racket by years of neoliberal government policy and negligence in Higher Education Institutions. While fees for students in the north and south of Ireland have increased dramatically over the past 15 years, the quality of education has been diminished. Most teaching staff are under-paid and overworked, and are given precarious employment contracts that offer little in the way of workers' rights and job security. Students are forced to work part-time or full-time during college to pay fees and rent, which has huge impacts on their academic performance and their health. Funding for essential services like student health and counselling have been cut, with further cuts planned in anticipation of the economic downturn. The fees paid by students are not being invested in education or support for students; they are instead being used to give salary increases and bonuses to the upper management of our colleges and universities. These issues existed before the pandemic, but the outbreak of COVID-19 has highlighted and exacerbated many of the issues we face in higher education. Students are shouldering a large portion of the burden of COVID-19. We have lost jobs, lost family members, worked on the front lines and are still being financially exploited by the higher education system. Student nurses and midwives in particular have played a vital role in the fight against COVID-19, but the state refuses to pay them for their work. On top of that, these essential workers are still forced to pay thousands in college tuition fees. It's clear that neither the government nor the upper management in our colleges care about education - they only care about our money. It's time for students to fight back against exploitation and neoliberalism in higher education in Ireland, and demand that student fees be abolished entirely. Higher education should be publicly funded, and those working in education should be properly paid for their work. The Campaigns demands are: - A public higher education system funded from general taxation - Abolish the student contribution, registration fees, and other fees paid directly by students. - Pay student nurses, midwives, and other students such as social workers for their work on placement. - Pay postgraduate teachers a living wage - Reverse the outsourcing of university staff, offer permanent contracts - Hire more admin and teaching staff to alleviate the workload in universities and ITs - Reverse cuts to student services - Increase the income threshold for the SUSI grant, and increase the grant allowance for SUSI - Cap rents for student accommodation and introduce a differential rent based on income
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    Created by Mark Anderson
  • A Petition to Save Our Course: Ballykisteen Golf Club tragically being converted to farmland:
    The loss of Ballykisteen Golf Course impacts the lives of the 400+ members and the 20 employees that are directly and indirectly employed by the club. It removes a vital facility that brings together families from across the county, breaking apart a local community and isolating those that rely on the club for social interactions. In 2017, the Great National Hotel Group received funding support from Enterprise Ireland, a government-funded investment body focused on the creation of local jobs and economic growth. Despite this state-sponsored funding, the hotel group is planning on selling the course as farmland this week, impacting 20+ jobs in the locality and devastating the local economy. We have made numerous efforts to find alternative buyers that are interested in keeping the course open. Unfortunately, hotel management has failed to prioritise buyers interested in keeping the golf course open. Despite requests for both information and cooperation, we have had minimal communication from the hotel. Our understanding is that a contract for the sale of the land is to be signed and concluded this week with the golf course being sold as farmland. We are pleading with the hotel to do all in their power to preserve this facility for the locality. Let's do all that we can to fight for this precious amenity at the heart of our small, but mighty community.
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    Created by Club Member
  • Grant Public Lending Right on eBooks
    Dear Minister As writers in receipt of payments from the Public Lending Remuneration scheme (PLR), which provides that writers receive a compensatory payment for each time their works are loaned from the public libraries, we consider that the present situation of remuneration needs to be improved. This is especially so in the present difficult situation of Covid19 restrictions in which physical book sales have collapsed. There are also the difficulties for writers (and other artists) with regard to book launches, readings and other events which now, under the restrictions, are not possible, thereby leading to a serious loss of income. The current PLR rate of €0.0412 per loan has not been increased since its introduction in 2008. EU legislation states “PLR must provide authors an adequate living and must not be merely symbolic”, yet collecting bodies consider the rate in Ireland “derisory”. This matter should be visited as a matter of urgency with the representatives of the writing community, such as the Irish Writers Union. We also believe that eBook loans should be included in the data for PLR, given the current COVID crisis and the resulting enormous surge in eBook loans compared to physical loans. How can fair remuneration under PRL be calculated for 2020 if eBook loans are excluded. There is also the anomaly vis a vis the UK, whereby although there is a bi-lateral arrangement enabling UK authors to benefit from Irish PLR, and Irish authors to avail of UK PLR, there is currently a disparity between how each country’s payments are calculated. This anomaly should be addressed as soon as possible in the interests of fairness. We hope you will give this matter your immediate attention.
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    Created by Conor Kostick
  • Allow the Henry Street Traders Open for Christmas
    Henry Street street is the most iconic part of Christmas in Dublin! It will be one of the safest ways to shop this Christmas under Covid 19 as the stalls are out in the open air!
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    Created by Grainne Bracken-paul
  • One Stamp for All Spouse and Dependents Immigrants #Equal Rights Ireland
    Immigrants spouses are being treated and marked as herds by giving them stamp 3/1g, making it impossible for them to access the job market. What are the spouses being punished for?? It is causing mental and health deterioration for the skilled immigrants who are suffering financially by being dependent on spouses. Isolation during covid-19 is building up some serious mental concerns as depression and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore adding to the misery of immigrants, stamp 1g is given to the graduates on job search and spouses of CSEP holders and hosting agreement holders. Recruiters are not willing to entertain anyone on Stamp 1g or stamp 3. Now with many of them listing an eligibility criteria as EU/Stamp 4 holder only may apply. Immigrants' spouses who have stamp 1g or stamp 3 are as if they are handcuffed for a crime which is simply being a dependent to a permit holder or critical skill worker. Dependent immigrants want to work and equally contribute to the society and pay taxes.
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    Created by Aysha Mazhar
  • High Quality Public Broadband for All!
    This pandemic has shown that the internet can be used to connect and strengthen communities - but only if they have high quality, affordable access. If we build a public network, we can guarantee free, quality internet for everyone.
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    Created by Emily Duffy Picture
  • Require universities to partially refund international tuition fees for 2020/21 due to COVID-19
    The Irish Government should care because thousands of international students studying in Ireland are going to be going into debt for an education that might not be worth the amount of money universities are asking for. Students should get the chance to experience university life in full, with access to societies, clubs, opportunities, and chances to network and develop meaningful relationships face-to-face. Many benefits of attending University have been taken away by COVID-19. There is so much more to University than the academic side.
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    Created by Caitlin Hogan
  • Require NUI Galway to partially refund tuition fees for 2020/21 due to Covid-19
    The UMT should care because thousands of Irish and international students studying in Galway are going to be going into debt for an education that might not be worth the amount of money the university is asking for. Students should be able to experience university life in full, with access to societies, clubs, office hours, tutoring, services, career opportunities, and the chance to network and develop meaningful relationships with professors, peers, and staff. Many benefits of attending University have been taken away by COVID-19. There is so much more to University than the academic side.
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    Created by Caitlin Hogan
  • Save Ballymore Post Office
    The Post Office service in Ballymore has been a hugely important hub of activity for many years and it continues to be a busy service. Ballymore Post Office is a core enterprise of rural communities and is responsible for the provision of vital financial services to the most vulnerable service users in our area. There is a agreement between An Post and the government that AnPost must ensure that people continue to have access to financial services and are not financially excluded. The reform agenda of An Post is forcing 'change' onto people, before they have actually had a chance to adapt their ways to modern day online facilities. One worrying result of this will be that our most vulnerable; older service users and those with physical or intellectual challenges, will now be drawn into towns to draw their cash payments. This not not only subjects them to the fear of theft, but in these current times, there are at a hugely higher risk of being infected with Covid19. There is also a distinct lack of public or private transport in the area. "This is yet another service being slowly ripped away from rural Ireland, if we stand by and allow this to happen we will wake up one day and there won’t be a heart left in our rural communities,” said Cllr McCormack.
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    Created by Nicola O'Callaghan
  • The outrageous cuts to EWSS and PUP
    It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to you in regards to the cuts in EWSS and PUP last Friday 18th September. Despite several thousand emails arriving into TD's inboxes last week on this matter, all we have received are unfulfilled promises from the current government. The news of these cuts came at the same time we were informed that the bars in Dublin and surrounding areas would be shut for a further 3 weeks! To say this is kicking us while we're down, is an understatement. I know a lot of local constituents facing hardship as a direct result of the lack of action, leadership, and support from the current government, during this pandemic. This includes volumes of bartenders, chefs, kitchen porters, managers, servers, reservations staff, security, HR departments, young performers and musicians! There is a deep rooted culture that is being neglected for public health reasons, and although that is justifiable, it does not in the slightest justify the lack of support we need to receive for our sacrifices. It has now reached a point in time where some are making the decision between the roof over their heads and the food on their tables. There is a terrible attitude towards live performers and the hospitality sector, as if our professions do not justify the money we receive. That is very much pandering to a division in class, and it totally undermines the lengths and efforts to develop and master the talents that we were given. As you are well aware, the amount of revenue the government receives from the Tourism, Hospitality, and Live entertainment industries through taxation is substantial! License fees, VAT, PAYE, the list goes on! We have paid our fair way just like any other fully employed person has done and we should continue to receive the PUP until our industry is open again. To say there is a feeling of no confidence in this government is an understatement. Change was demanded at the beginning of this year and when this Dail was formed. We were promised change by the same two parties that have promised it so many times and failed to deliver. We were promised change when the opposition stepped back on forming a left minority. We were promised change and the only change we have witnessed has been in the wrong direction for us. It has taken 8 months to come up with a less than adequate 5 level plan for this pandemic, an issue that requires emergency response times and clear concise rules, not guidelines! We understand that a pandemic of this nature is quite a challenge for any government to tackle and our advice to you as the owners and workers of the hospitality sector is to listen to your constituents, especially the experts of each respective sector. In our case, we have sacrificed our main source of income to help you tackle this public health crisis, the least you can do is to help us in return. We demand the immediate reinstatement of the EWSS and PUP payment at the full rate per week (350EUR) for the highly skilled staff and businesses of this valued sector, until the sector (which is fully closed by government under public health advice) is allowed to return to work. We will continue to do our part for the sake of this country and we hope you will hold your end of the bargain too. Go raibh maith agaibh,
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    Created by Eoin Mac Giolla Riogh
  • Immediate Supports needed for the Restaurant & Hospitality Sector!
    The Costs of Not Supporting the Restaurant Sector Providing support to restaurant businesses will come at a significant financial cost to the Exchequer. The proposed measures would cost around €1.6 billion in a full year. However, the costs of not providing adequate support and allowing thousands of businesses to die, would far outweigh those costs. It is conceivable that without adequate support during this 24-month period, up to 100,000 jobs could be lost in the sector. Such an outcome would impose a very significant cost on the Exchequer, which could be as high as €2.8 billion. If 100,000 workers were to remain unemployed for a full year: •It would cost the Exchequer around €2 billion in increased social protection expenditure. •It would cost the Exchequer up to up to €500 million in lost payroll taxes. •It would cost the Exchequer around €240 million in lost VAT receipts; and •It would cost local authorities around €52 million in lost commercial rates.
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    Created by Amy Sweetman
  • Education for All
    In the fallout of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, a subsequent economic recession and the establishment of the department of further and Higher Education, the funding crisis of Higher education continues to roar on in an age of soaring rents, poor working conditions for academic staff , inadequate student supports and the highest fees in Europe. Students are hungry for change, and this campaign seeks to earn it. Our demands are for the government to commit to and representatives to support a series of commitments outlined in our pledge... 1. An end to the student contribution charge of €3000, the highest in the EU. 2.An end to the study now pay later and earn and learn policies and a move toward publicly funded education at the heart of government policy. 3.A publicly financed student accommodation building strategy and charter for student tenant rights. 4. A reform of student supports across the island that match the cost of being a student in the new decade. 5. A plan to address the crisis in Irish creative institutions. 6. An end to precarious working conditions for academic staff
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    Created by Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Picture