Creche workers win victory
STAFF IN Queens Student Creches in College Gardens and Rugby Road took on the University Management and won their dispute for better pay.
By Brian Booth
From a position last November where Queen's management refused to consider any change in terms and conditions, the workers have achieved a considerable improvement. This decent rise came about with the help and intervention of Socialist Party activists who advised the staff to reject earlier offers from Management, against the wishes of the union. Members were firstly offered a one off payment of £400, which was unanimously rejected by the all female staff.
The call to fight for a better rise was listened to, and the staff decided to embark on their first ever half day strike, which was well supported and buoyed by parents, the Fire Brigades Union, the Irish National Teachers Organisation, and other NIPSA activists. It was decided by the members to up the action after the initial half day, by another two half days. This pushed Management into making an offer to settle the dispute.
The offer consisted of:
* Assistant creche workers to get a pay rise of £1,000 consolidated over the next 2 years. Backdated to April 2003.
* Creche Supervisors will receive a consolidated pay rise of £600, backdated to April 2003, and a lump sum of £400 which will be in addition to their annual NJC linked rise.
One of the Queens Creche workers commented, "without the most welcome intervention from Padraig Mulholland and other members of the Socialist Party, we would have got nowhere near as much from Queens University in such a short space of time".