• Include professional childminders in new childcare subsidies now
    At the moment, only 125 childminders are registered with TUSLA & included in the new childcare package in Budget 2017. However, up to 2000 more professional childminders are: -Registered members of Childminding Ireland or -Notified to County Childcare Committees, or -Registered with Revenue for Childcare Tax Relief Most of these professional childminders have insurance, garda vetting and training in childcare. Surveys indicate that over 50% have FETAC 5 in childcare. They are not registered with TUSLA because they are NOT ALLOWED TO, since they mind 3 or fewer children at any one time. Thousands of parents choose childminding because they feel it's the best for their children. Thousands more rural parents choose a childminder because there is no other option. Thousands more choose a childminder because they offer flexible, often very long hours, to parents, who may need childcare for over 12 hours a day. They should be able to avail of the childcare subsidies at their professional childminders. The Goodbody Report estimated that there were 19,000 childminders with as many as 57,000 children attending a 'hidden‘ childminding service in 2011. It is completely unacceptable that only 125 childminders (,0.1%) will be included in the new scheme. Ultimately all childminders should be included in some form of registration and all families who choose childminder care should be supported. In the meantime, at least include those who have spent considerable time and money in becoming professionals and engaging with professional and state agencies. IT IS UNFAIR TO EXCLUDE THEM WHEN THEY CANNOT REGISTER WITH TUSLA. IT IS UNFAIR TO THE THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES AND CHILDREN THEY SERVE. Minister, do the right thing, and include these professional childminders in the new childcare subsidy scheme.
    293 of 300 Signatures
    Created by M. A. O'Reilly
  • Aftercare....do you care?
    We, the EPIC Youth Board, are petitioning the government to provide adequate funding to Tusla (Child and Family Agency) and for Tusla to implement Aftercare for all young people leaving care. Young people who are in care have been marganalised from achieving their full potential in their lives., for most of their lives. 'We face barriers and difficulties that no young person should have to face.' (Young Person) One of the key areas to allowing people in care equal opportunities and equal outcomes is an Aftercare Plan and it's implementation. 'Young people leaving care need ongoing support in order to achieve their potential. The provision of an appropriate aftercare service has been highlighted as a key element to achieving positive outcomes for young people upon leaving care. It is essential that young people leaving care are provided with the type of transitional support that their individual situation requires.' (Department of Children and Youth Affairs) The Child Care Amendment Act 2015 states all young people in care are legally entitled to an Aftercare Plan once they have been in care for twelve months or more. However the right to Aftercare itself is not placed on a statutory footing. In Ireland today there are too many young people who are leaving care with no Aftercare Plan or an Aftercare Plan but no action on it's implementation. There are many young people leaving care who have an Aftercare Plan which is being implementated with great success. This difference between those that have a good Aftercare Plan and those that have none can be the geographical area they live in. Young people who have been discriminated against for most of their lives are again being discriminated against through no fault of their own. The harsh reality for those young people is that they are at best under huge stress in a time of uncertaintity, which is affecting their whole lives, or at worst they are falling through the cracks and put in a position where they are accessing services such as homeless services. 'Our vision is to make Ireland the best small country in the world in which to grow up and raise a family, and where the rights of all children and young people are respected, protected and fullfilled; where their voices are heard and where they are supported to realise their maximum potential now and into the future' (Better Outcomes Brighter Futures, the national policy framework for children and young people, 2014-2020.) Our government makes choices all the time, we are calling on Tusla and the government to choose to give young people in care an equal chance in life. Make your vision for young people be for all young people!
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    Created by Andy O Hara
  • The Killing Cities - Stop Assad's Civilian Slaughter
    Russia and Iran have been propping up the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad for years. Assad has long lost legitimacy through his brutal campaign of subjugation against the Syrian civilian population. Unlike Assad, with whom Ireland has no diplomatic relations, Russia and Iran are trading partners of ours - although Russia is currently subjected to E.U. trade sanctions over the support it is providing to Ukrainian separatists. The Irish Syria Solidarity Movement (irishsyriasolidaritymovement.org) has long urged the Irish government to suspend trade relations with either country due to their support for the Assad regime. However, the escalation now being seen in Aleppo with intensive bombing of civilians by Russia along with a concomitant ground offensive by Iran and its Hizbollah proxies, marks a sharp and depraved escalation in this years-long conflict and requires urgent action. We urge everyone signing this petition to also phone (01 492 2048) and email (russianembassydublin@mid.ru) the Russian embassy to express your disgust in person. We also urge you to contact the Iranian embassy in the same regard (01 288 5881 & iranembassy@indigo.ie). Please phone as frequently as you feel necessary. If you are emailing, please cc info@irishsyriasolidaritymovement.org.
    182 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Irish Syria Solidarity Movement -
  • Reinstate the 98 sacked workers in the Philippines by C&F Tooling
    We are calling on Galway based multinational C&F Group to reinstate 98 workers sacked in the Philippines for joining a trade union. On May 26, 2016, the workers, many with 3 to 12 years service, registered their Trade Union with the Department of Labor and Employment and the very next day, on May 27, the company abruptly offered a redundancy programme. The Union obtained its Certificate of Registration on May 30, 2016 and on June 6 filed for representation rights for the workers for collective bargaining purposes. On the very same day, management at the company said they were subjecting 98 workers to "retrenchment," or laying-off, of which more than 63 are union officers or union members. Three days after the lay-offs, the company replaced the sacked workers with 55 new agency staff on top of the 50 agency workers already employed in the plant. Since the workers were dismissed, they have been on strike outside the factory. It is the first ever industrial action in the economic zone in the Philippines and has been in place for more than 8 weeks now. Speaking on behalf of the workers, Esmereldo Ison said, “What has happened to us is very disappointing. Many of us have worked for this company for several years and we have been sacked for trying to avail of our international human rights.” He explained that the workers have filed for illegal dismissal cases but that process could take up to 10 years. “We need our jobs so we can feed our families. We cannot wait three or four years for this to reach the courts. We want to be reinstated immediately.” Mandate Trade Union General Secretary John Douglas, speaking on behalf of four trade unions in Ireland including Unite, the Communications Workers’ Union and OPATSI, said the actions of management at C&F are deplorable. “This is a clear case of union-busting and it’s embarrassing that it’s an Irish firm with Irish management involved in this type of exploitation.” He added, “The Managing Director of C&F, John Flaherty, needs to do the right thing and ensure these workers are reinstated immediately and compensated for any losses they have incurred due to the illegal and discriminatory behaviour of his management team in the Philippines.” C & F Manufacturing Phils. Corporation is an Irish-owned subsidiary of C & F Tooling Ltd. of Galway, Ireland. They have operations in Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic, USA and the Philippines. According to the company website, C&F Group had a turnover in excess of $100m in 2007 and the company supplies components to multinational corporations including IBM, EMC, APC, Ingersoll Rand, Glen Dimplex, Sanyo and Hitachi Koki. The unionised workers are demanding that the company: 1. Reinstate unconditionally all the 98 workers summarily and discriminately terminated. 2. Recognize and respect the rights of the workers to organise and to collectively bargain; 3. Respect the right of the workers for a one-day rest in a week and stop the inhumane practice of continuous and excessive long hours of work. 4. Investigate and impose disciplinary action on managers Paul Hynes and Damian Gavin for their attitude towards the Filipino workers. 5. Lastly, for management to make corrective actions to address the violations of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct. NOTE: C&F Group’s code of ethics include: “FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION In conformance with local law, participants shall respect the right of all workers to form and join trade unions of their own choosing, to bargain collectively and to engage in peaceful assembly as well as respect the right of workers to refrain from such activities. Workers and/or their representatives shall be able to openly communicate and share ideas and concerns with management regarding working conditions and management practices without fear of discrimination, reprisal, intimidation or harassment.
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    Created by Dave Gibney Picture
  • Shift to compostable packaging
    Plastic pollution is now choking the world's oceans, killing marine life and leaching toxic endocrine-disrupting chemicals into the food chain. Despite this terrible truth, plastic production is set to quadruple by 2050 and plastic food packaging in our supermarkets is increasing. In Ireland we generate 20 million tonnes of waste a year, the second highest of any developed country. This huge figure is, in part, due to the volume of packaging in our country's supermarkets. Compostable bio-plastics made from plants have been easily and competitively available in Ireland for the past eight years and yet our supermarkets refuse to use them. With a turnover of €4 billion a year, Musgraves, which runs SuperValu and Centra shops is the largest grocery distributor in Ireland. The company has publicly committed to drive sustainable sourcing and consumption. Therefore, it is the natural candidate to lead Irish consumers away from petro plastics to bio plastics. We are calling on Musgraves to become leaders on this island nation and commit to phasing out its plastic packaging in favor of a compostable variety.
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    Created by siobhan tanner
  • Invest in Publicly-Funded Third-Level Education in Ireland Now
    #EducationIs a public good. The report outlines three funding options: 1) Funding Option One: A Predominantly State-Funded System. 2) Funding Option Two: Increased State-Funding with Continuing Student Fees. 3) Funding Option Three: Increased State-Funding with Deferred Payment of Fees Through Income Contingent Loans. USI know that Funding Option One is key for Irish students' future. Funding Option One: A predominantly state-funded system advocates that the state would significantly increase its core grant to institutions and the €3,000 undergraduate student contribution would be abolished. Higher education would be free at the point of entry for all first-time EU students and for part-time learners.There is also the possibility of extending free tuition to postgraduate education. Funding Option Three will have a negative effect on the lives of current and future Irish students. USI know that an income-contingent loan scheme is not a viable solution to third-level funding as a burden of €20,000+ debt upon graduation will deter people from applying to college. Financial strain of placing this debt on graduates spans across all communities and groups including parents, children, staff and teachers - not just students. The campaign is supported by members of the Coalition for Publicly Funded Higher Education including SIPTU, IMPACT, TUI, IFUT and the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) so far. FACTS ABOUT LOANS America's student loan debt ($1tn+) is greater in value than the combined economies of Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. In other words, American students owe the combined value of all transactions in those countries in a year. Home-ownership in under-40s in New Zealand has drastically fallen since the introduction of student loans, from 57% to 25%.” Charging no tuition-related fees, Germany has 41 universities that are considered by Times Higher Education to be among the best in the world. In France, where they have registration fees of under €200, there are 27. 70% of the 2015 college graduates in the UK are not expected to ever repay their college loans, according to The Institute of Fiscal Studies.
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    Created by Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Picture
  • Stay-At-Home Parents Provide Childcare Too
    Childcare costs for stay-at-home parents - it costs 100% of their salary. It's a matter of equality that any provision for childcare in the budget needs to be paid equally to these families, who are struggling to keep their heads above water. A payment to help one family and not another pits families against each other, when all families deserve to be helped. We need to put people first. This is about giving every parent, regardless of their gender and their family structure, the right to choose how to care for their children, which is such a short period of their lives but can be such a struggle. All financial positions are comparative and what makes families poor is that they shoulder the financial burden of bringing up the next generation. This burden is every bit as real for those whose childcare costs involve them working at home for no money. It makes it harder to rent a house. It makes is harder to buy a house. And it makes it harder to put food on the table. The fact that we do not have occupations in the public eye does not mean we don't exist and it does not mean that we don't provide a valuable service for society. Help show that this matters by supporting the campaign.
    3,051 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Pauline O'Reilly
  • Declare Wicklow a TTIP and CETA Free Zone
    Our local businesses, environment and democracy are under threat from a trade deal currently being negotiated between the EU Commission and the USA. The deal is called TTIP and could outlaw local authorities’ support of local businesses, allow multinational corporations to sue us if councils deny fracking permits and open up services like water, health and education to privatisation. What’s up for grabs are the rules and regulations that force corporations to abide by standards that protect our health, our rights, our jobs, services and the environment. These regulations for example stop corporations releasing chemicals and products into the market before they are proven to be safe. They also make sure workers get their rights and that local communities are protected from environmental disasters. But if TTIP goes ahead corporations will get to have a say on policies that govern our daily lives - before we or even politicians get to see them. And if they don’t like the rules they will be able to sue governments when they make changes or bring in new policies that could potentially affect their profits. Right now in Canada a fracking company Lone Pine Resources Inc., is suing the government for its decision to not allow fracking in Quebec. They are able to do this because of an ISDS clause in another trade deal. In Egypt the government was sued by water company Veolia for attempting to bring in a minimum wage. Germany is being sued by Swedish energy company Vatenfall for €4.7 billion because of Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power. TTIP also removes barriers to US companies who want to sell their products in Europe. Right now the sale of US beef in Europe is very limited. Hormone injected beef is banned outright. Hundreds of councils across Europe have already said they don’t want TTIP. Because of people power politicians are waking up to the threat TTIP poses and to the fact that people aren’t going to stand aside and let our democracy and rights be sold off. In addition to that a similar Trade agreement named CETA if the TTPIP fails will deliver a similar agreement between the EU and Canada, with similar legal provisions thus providing a backdoor for the same restrictive legal provisions to be implemented: CETA summary: http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/wp/16-03CETA_ES.pdf
    18 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Darren Morrison
  • Protect Lone Parents
    This is simply unfair. Lone parents are being forced in to an impossible situation where they have to seek maintenance from non custodial parents, or risk having their payments cut. But, get this - at the same time the Department of Social Protection has told non custodial parents, that they don’t have to pay. This is placing an unfair burden on lone parents who have to seek maintenance from the other parent. Domestic abuse survivors have to choose to suffer a financial loss or make contact with their abuser. A lone parent without an address can not issue legal proceedings and can not comply with the condition. These are just some examples of the countless ways that this oversight by the department is making lone parents suffer. Many lone parents have lost child maintenance after the Department of Social Protection wrote to non custodial parents, it is unfair for the department to now threaten these same parents because of their own legislative error.
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    Created by Louise Bayliss Picture
  • Stamp for Caitriona
    Caitriona Lucas died while in service to our country as a volunteer coast guard on the 12th September 2016. She was a cherished wife, mother of two, sister, daughter, librarian, volunteer Coast Guard and so much to so many including a talented artist. She died a hero and it would honour her to have her art on an Irish stamp.
    2,055 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Ann Marie Flanagan
  • ⌗stateoftheart campaign for urgent reform of the Leaving Cert art curriculum
    Despite requests, the Leaving Cert art curriculum has not been revised since 1972. Leaving Cert Art itself is not required or recognised as entry to 3rd level art college (matriculation), students must produce an additional portfolio of artwork, putting extra financial and time pressure on them and their parents during the stressful Leaving Cert year. Art is the most difficult of all 32 Leaving Cert subjects to achieve an A1 grade at higher level. In 2016, students were four times more likely to get an A in higher level physics than in higher level art and seven times more likely to get an A in ordinary level physics than in ordinary level art. Candidates at ordinary level experience the inequity of the current system, in 2016, 1011 male students took ordinary level art in the Leaving Cert, only one of them achieved an A1 grade. Art History and Appreciation makes up 37.5% of the Leaving Cert art exam, students are expected to study the history of European and Irish art, craft and design from c.3200 BC to the present day in approximately 44 hours. For all these reasons the number of students choosing art at Leaving Cert is falling, from 10,783 in 2011 to 9,747 in 2016. This decline will have a knock on negative effect on third level art and design education and ultimately on the creative sectors who contribute so significantly to our wider economy, society and culture. It is essential that the Department of Education, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and State Examination Commission (SEC) work together with art teachers, parent and student groups and relevant stakeholders in culture and industry to design and implement a new Leaving Cert curriculum, not simply assessment reform. For more facts and figures about the ⌗stateoftheart campaign and the Leaving Certificate art curriculum visit our website http://www.artteachers.ie/ or follow us on social media.
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    Created by Art Teachers' Association of Ireland ATAI Picture
  • I support Dublin Bus Drivers
    Dublin Bus drivers have worked hard over the last eight years to return Dublin Bus to profit, they are a vital asset to the city and deserve a decent wage. Workers can no longer be left at the back of the queue while Dublin Bus makes a profit. It's essential that they show worker's enough respect to meet them face to face and hear their demands. Sign the petition today to show your solidarity with Dublin Bus drivers.
    203 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Natasha Duffy