Rights at Work campaign among plans in renewed SIPTU and USI agreement

The renewal of the partnership agreement was formally announced today

SIPTU and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have announced the renewal of an agreement between the two organisations to facilitate joint campaigns and provide third level students with support in the workplace.

Among the initiatives laid out in the agreement is an annual Rights at Work campaign jointly run by USI and SIPTU, with co-branded campaign materials and information provided by SIPTU and agreed with USI.

In addition, the organisations agreed to the ability of USI members to use SIPTU support services in relation to issues in the workplace through the SIPTU Workers Rights Centre. The SIPTU Young Workers Network will also be open to USI members and officers.

The agreement states that representatives from each organisation will meet on a quarterly basis “or as necessary”. The respective Presidents of USI and SIPTU are to be invited to attend the respective National Conferences of each organisation, and SIPTU membership benefits, such as car insurance and discounts, will be extended to USI members.

The partnership agreement between SIPTU and USI has been in place for over ten years. The USI worked with SIPTU to redraft the agreement this year, with the renewal formally announced today by the SIPTU General Secretary Designate Joe Cunningham at the union’s Biennial Delegate Conference in City Hall, Cork.

Speaking at the conference, Cunningham said: “This agreement further strengthens the relationship between students and union members. It provides the potential for even greater cooperation between SIPTU and USI and the wider trade union movement on the great issues that affect students, workers and society.”

USI Deputy President and Vice President for Campaigns, Michelle Byrne, said in a press statement: “Students are the workers of today and tomorrow. Many are putting themselves through higher education by working part time jobs and once graduated all will continue into the workforce. It is important that students understand the benefits of the partnership between USI and SIPTU. All students who are members of Students Unions who are affiliated with USI will gain access to the benefits of SIPTU membership.”

“Students and workers have a fantastic history of galvanising together as one force,” she continued. “Through the partnership of USI and SIPTU, we look forward to continuing this trend into the future. Workers’ rights are students’ rights.”

This agreement will remain in force for a period of three years, at which point the USI or SIPTU can decide whether to continue or amend the agreement, or not. 

Aisling Grace

Aisling Grace is the Editor-in-Chief of the 66th Volume of Trinity News. She was formerly Online Editor and Deputy News Editor, as well as an English Literature and History of Art and Architecture student.