Something rotten at the heart of SIPTU

Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU). Not, Self serving Incompetent, Po-faced Tyrannical Union as one may feel about SIPTU after reading about their slush fund. Where Civil service and Union Mandarins along with their various wives and concubines went on about 40 trips to various far-flung places such as Canada, Australia and Hong Kong. One such intrepid traveler, former Department of Health official Alan Smith, went on 22 trips. He though has declined to cooperate with the PAC inquiries on grounds of ill-health. Must be Man Flu, you would think after 22 trips abroad he’d have the constitution of a Mongol Horde. Must check and see if since he has a trip adviser account.

The auditors tasked with the job of trying to unravel the machinations of the slush fund revealed that SIPTU has refused to name those involved. Some of whom have since had an attack of conscience and repaid various sums. They are also unsure of how many trips there actually were. At least 40 was the number they came up with. No one actually knows. Since SIPTU are as secretive as North Korea when it comes to their own finances, we may never actually find out. Apparently most of these trips coincided with St Patrick’s Day events abroad.  One of which to New York in March 2004, when people who knew about the trip were interviewed and were asked what was the purpose of such a trip no one seems to remember. New York is a pretty cool place, one that’s like to stick in someones mind……..But ah I can’t remember sure, seems to suffice. If you have been to New York then generally speaking you will remember, unless your dead.  Although it was Paddy’s week and Paddy’s week in New York is like fresher’s week on a grand scale……..

This all of course down under the “social partnership” umbrella as Fine Gael TD Simon Harris tweeted More than €100,000 in restaurant bills, etc between SIPTU officials & Govt officials puts the “social” in “social partnership”.  SIPTU, in its own report, blames the Department of Health and the HSE for failing to provide greater clarity surrounding the use of the funds. Yes, you read correctly, blames others for not being clear on how the funds were meant to be spent. Hmmmm well I am pretty sure it was not to be spent on junkets, remember SIPTU outrage at Mary Harney’s Florida junket? Around the same time it now appears our Civil service and SIPTU Mandarins where donning the green white and gold seaside ball strangler’s in memory of auld Jim Larkin and James Connolly.

Imagine how poor auld Jim and James are turning in their graves. No receipts for €1.15 million, €108,000 spent in restaurants, €12,000 spent on taxis, €2000 spent on blackberries. Two “unnamed” people claimed €72,166 and another €67,506 over a 3 year period. The Workers lockout? Looks like these “Workers” had a Lock-in .

SIPTU boss and Labour executive member Jack O’Connor‘s €124,000 salary is also excessive. While nobody in Liberty hall seems slightly miffed at his salary. I can assure you the vast majority of SIPTU subscribers are mightily annoyed at his salary. Jack has been SIPTU boss since 2003 one of his main platforms for reelection was training and cough cough Skills agenda. It also seems only members of the public service were able to avail of this up-skilling, private sector employees that were SIPTU members need not have applied. SIPTU knows which side its bread is it buttered…..

There was €5 million paid into this skills/slush fund since 1998, could the SIPTU boss be so unaware of that one of his top officials had control of that amount of money for retraining and up-skilling ? Did it not dawn on him to ask where the money was coming from to send some of the top union officials on these Junkets ? Well if it did not dawn on O’Connor to ask these questions then you can draw your own conclusions……

  • Who from the various Governmental departments authorised these monies to be given to SIPTU ?
  • Was it the minister in charge at the time ?
  • Was it some unnamed finance or HSE official ?
  • At what stage did Jack O’Connor know that this fund existed ?
  • How many more funds like this have existed ?

Why is there still no accountability in Liberty Hall or the Civil Service for the actions of a relative minority ? If you worked in the private sector and could not account for over a million €€€€ imagine the reaction from your boss. There would be no reaction , he or she more than likely would call the Gardai and ask them to take it from there…..

Ah yes Social Partnership …….. What a mighty fine title for protecting the vested interests of a relative few…. Social partnership was of little benefit to those in the private sector or Nurses , Teachers and Gardai , but if you were a manager in the public sector then you did very well….. Cheers Bertie……

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About Paul Duggan

Politics, humour, Liberal, Curmudgeon, Rogue. Creator and author of Irish Shades of Grey.
This entry was posted in Irish current affairs, Irish Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Something rotten at the heart of SIPTU

  1. TalentCoop says:

    Paul – it’s the way you tell it – dead straight.
    Brilliant writing!

  2. Pingback: Jack O'Connor ...Pot calling the kettle black - Page 11

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