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Trade Union Leaders: is it time for change?


Con Gallagher

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May 25, 2010
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2,413
David Begg has been general secretary for ICTU since 2001.

Jack O'Connor has been in charge of SIPTU since 2003.

Liam Doran seems to have been around forever in charge of (the largely female) nurses.


1. Is it time for them, and other pre-bust leaders, to move on?
2. Will their continued "leadership" serve their members?
3. Has their full participation in the Ahern era social partnership compromised their authority?
4. Are they overpaid relative to their members?
5. Given that government, senior civil service in finance, banks have all seen change at the top - is it time for the unions to change leaders?

http://www.politics.ie/forum/economy/205468-ictus-national-day-protest-saturday-9th-february.html

Irish Congress of Trade Unions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.politics.ie/forum/current-affairs/36807-irish-trade-unions.html

http://www.politics.ie/forum/current-affairs/42907-irish-trade-unions-failure.html

http://www.politics.ie/forum/current-affairs/61469-trade-unions-what-they-about.html

http://www.politics.ie/forum/economy/160308-irelands-lousy-trade-union-movement-polemic.html

http://www.politics.ie/forum/current-affairs/33057-british-trade-unions-roi.html

Note: I'm not a member of any union but their necessity to protect the working conditions of their members is indisputable (except by those with Reagan/Thatcher fantasies who usually use the term "beards". I'm am also considering attending today's march but I would find it very difficult to listen through any speech by David Begg without booing.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Begg is your only man for the job in my opinion.

Active and well rewarded mover and shaker during the bubble - on the board of Aer Lingus, the Central Bank, etc., over saw bench marking from his lofty Ivory Tower, happy to suck at the states teat for himself and his members, BUT still manages to deflect any sense of blame or shame when the monster he helped create turned around to bite the hand that reluctantly fed it.
 

Prester Jim

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Jul 3, 2009
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Yes, they should certainly move on and yes they are overpaid.
It is however for the union members to decide this and act, I have assume that here will be a massive backlash against them sooner rather then later.
 

gatsbygirl20

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Begg is your only man for the job in my opinion.

Active and well rewarded mover and shaker during the bubble - on the board of Aer Lingus, the Central Bank, etc., over saw bench marking from his lofty Ivory Tower, happy to suck at the states teat for himself and his members, BUT still manages to deflect any sense of blame or shame when the monster he helped create turned around to bite the hand that reluctantly fed it.
I don't know how he is supposed to have "deflected any sense of blame"

The media never STOP blaming union leaders and "beards" for seeking to better the pay and conditions of their members--which is what their members pay them to do....

They are not paid by "the taxpayer", although it is in the interests of certain persons to pretend that they are...

Liam Doran seems very competent and articulate, for example, and argues the nurses' case very well--but it would be up to the nurses to decide whether it is time for a new hand at the helm....
 

PUFF DADDY

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I'd be happy if there was an end to trade unions full stop tbh.
 

KEYHOLE KATE

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They are paid by the members of a Union and these Union leaders are notoriously secretive abour their own salaries. Joe 0'Toole, former Union head of the INTO and huge fan of benchmarking, had such influence over his grateful members that they voted him into the Senate so it can be assumed that he is enjoying a comfortable retirement.
 

gatsbygirl20

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They are paid by the members of a Union and these Union leaders are notoriously secretive abour their own salaries. Joe 0'Toole, former Union head of the INTO and huge fan of benchmarking, had such influence over his grateful members that they voted him into the Senate so it can be assumed that he is enjoying a comfortable retirement.
It was reported in the press that Jack O'Connor earned 115K and David Begg 136K....I'm not sure if these salaries have been reduced since...

But private sector head honchos are always very cagey about revealing their salaries--as are ordinary private sector workers on this site.

Union bosses' salaries are not funded from the public purse so I don't understand this obsession with what the top guys earn.

The top guys in every organisation or business earn big bucks compared to you or me

The question is: Do they give value for money to those who pay their wages?

And in general the unions probably do.

Certainly there should be no surprise that "Joe O'Toole's grateful members voted him into the Senate"

More than any group the Primary Teachers saw improvements in their pay and conditions under O'Toole's skillful leadership....(not that I could ever stand the guy...but that is a different issue)
 

stakerwallace

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Joe 0'Toole, former Union head of the INTO and huge fan of benchmarking, had such influence over his grateful members that they voted him into the Senate so it can be assumed that he is enjoying a comfortable retirement.
INTO members have elected people to the Senate before Joe O' Toole, as in Jackie Brosnan. Nothing new there and certainly not from adoration of JO'T, but merely a way of maximising influence. I think you would find that employers are well represented in parliament at all levels also.
 
D

Deleted member 17573

It was reported in the press that Jack O'Connor earned 115K and David Begg 136K....I'm not sure if these salaries have been reduced since...

But private sector head honchos are always very cagey about revealing their salaries--as are ordinary private sector workers on this site.

Union bosses' salaries are not funded from the public purse so I don't understand this obsession with what the top guys earn.

The top guys in every organisation or business earn big bucks compared to you or me

The question is: Do they give value for money to those who pay their wages?

And in general the unions probably do.

Certainly there should be no surprise that "Joe O'Toole's grateful members voted him into the Senate"

More than any group the Primary Teachers saw improvements in their pay and conditions under O'Toole's skillful leadership....(not that I could ever stand the guy...but that is a different issue)
Trade Union leaders are paid nothing near as well as other senior executives with similar responsibilities and they generally deliver better value to their members than most private sector executives deliver to their shareholders.
The typical P.ie posting, right wing, PS basher seems incapable of understanding this very simple fact. Let us repeat, they are private sector senior executives, chief executives in effect, they are well paid but not to the level of those with whom they negotiate. They are not public sector employees, they are not funded from the public purse and their role is the same as that of any CEO - to deliver maximum shareholder value. Simple, isn't it?
 

darkknight

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Trade Union leaders are paid nothing near as well as other senior executives with similar responsibilities and they generally deliver better value to their members than most private sector executives deliver to their shareholders. ...
 
D

Deleted member 17573

Just stating facts - and I forgot to add that they also represent some private sector workers - though not nearly as many as would be desirable when one sees the continuing erosion in many non-union companies of workers's hard won rights.
 

darkknight

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RTE

Gardaí estimate that up to 25,000 people are protesting in Dublin.

Congress General Secretary David Begg urged the public to attend despite this week's deal on the promissory note.

Last week, Mr Begg said he hoped between 80,000 and 100,000 people would attend the protests.
I reckon those numbers constitute a verdict on Mr. Begg's 'leadership'!

I attended the only sizeable protest since the 2008 crash, when both Begg and O'Connor were greeted with booing.
 

gatsbygirl20

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Trade Union leaders are paid nothing near as well as other senior executives with similar responsibilities and they generally deliver better value to their members than most private sector executives deliver to their shareholders.
The typical P.ie posting, right wing, PS basher seems incapable of understanding this very simple fact. Let us repeat, they are private sector senior executives, chief executives in effect, they are well paid but not to the level of those with whom they negotiate. They are not public sector employees, they are not funded from the public purse and their role is the same as that of any CEO - to deliver maximum shareholder value. Simple, isn't it?
Yes, I'm always surprised that posters who insist "It's none of your business what I earn. I run a successful company, and am answerable to shareholders. The reason I want your salary cut is because it is paid by public taxes. It's nothing personal...too bad you have a big mortgage...nothing personal here...just basic economics"

But they do not apply the same simple cause-and-effect economics to union bosses' salaries. They get all personal--dragging in stuff about "beards" and what boards Begg sat on...

I don't care what board Begg sat on--"untouchables" Shane Ross cheered on Seanie and Fingers too--so long as Begg delivers to those who pay him, and does not get sidelined or outfoxed by his enemies

Begg is the head honcho of a powerful organisation, so of course there will be perks and he will earn a good salary--more than the rank and file. Just like the boss of any business

I actually like Jack O'Connor. I met him once and he was such a polite, self-deprecating, kind and modest man. I know he worked his way up from a very simple, poor background.

I don't like Joe O'Toole--but none of that is really relevant

But in any case, those union bosses' salaries do not seem by any means outrageous to me--compared to your average CEO.
 

Sister Mercedes

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Dec 19, 2011
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20,663
Yes, I'm always surprised that posters who insist "It's none of your business what I earn. I run a successful company, and am answerable to shareholders. The reason I want your salary cut is because it is paid by public taxes. It's nothing personal...too bad you have a big mortgage...nothing personal here...just basic economics"

But they do not apply the same simple cause-and-effect economics to union bosses' salaries. They get all personal--dragging in stuff about "beards" and what boards Begg sat on...

I don't care what board Begg sat on--"untouchables" Shane Ross cheered on Seanie and Fingers too--so long as Begg delivers to those who pay him, and does not get sidelined or outfoxed by his enemies

Begg is the head honcho of a powerful organisation, so of course there will be perks and he will earn a good salary--more than the rank and file. Just like the boss of any business

I actually like Jack O'Connor. I met him once and he was such a polite, self-deprecating, kind and modest man. I know he worked his way up from a very simple, poor background.

I don't like Joe O'Toole--but none of that is really relevant

But in any case, those union bosses' salaries do not seem by any means outrageous to me--compared to your average CEO.
Why aren't you at the March? Too busy flicking through the pages of OK! Magazine at Peter Mark in Dundrum TC?
 

KEYHOLE KATE

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INTO members have elected people to the Senate before Joe O' Toole, as in Jackie Brosnan. Nothing new there and certainly not from adoration of JO'T, but merely a way of maximising influence. I think you would find that employers are well represented in parliament at all levels also.
I thought that Joe 0'Toole was completely lacking in discretion and in common sense when he described benchmarking as being similar to having access to an ATM machine. He may have to rue those words if the machine turns out to be empty. It's only my opinion. Was it benchmarking that allowed TDs to get an inordinate pay-rise?
 

stakerwallace

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Feb 27, 2011
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I thought that Joe 0'Toole was completely lacking in discretion and in common sense when he described benchmarking as being similar to having access to an ATM machine. He may have to rue those words if the machine turns out to be empty. It's only my opinion. Was it benchmarking that allowed TDs to get an inordinate pay-rise?
Joe could be a motor mouth at times, but he did advance some very good issues in education during his time, particularly in the areas of DEIS schools and special education.
 
D

Deleted member 17573

Yes, I'm always surprised that posters who insist "It's none of your business what I earn. I run a successful company, and am answerable to shareholders. The reason I want your salary cut is because it is paid by public taxes. It's nothing personal...too bad you have a big mortgage...nothing personal here...just basic economics"

But they do not apply the same simple cause-and-effect economics to union bosses' salaries. They get all personal--dragging in stuff about "beards" and what boards Begg sat on...

I don't care what board Begg sat on--"untouchables" Shane Ross cheered on Seanie and Fingers too--so long as Begg delivers to those who pay him, and does not get sidelined or outfoxed by his enemies

Begg is the head honcho of a powerful organisation, so of course there will be perks and he will earn a good salary--more than the rank and file. Just like the boss of any business

I actually like Jack O'Connor. I met him once and he was such a polite, self-deprecating, kind and modest man. I know he worked his way up from a very simple, poor background.

I don't like Joe O'Toole--but none of that is really relevant

But in any case, those union bosses' salaries do not seem by any means outrageous to me--compared to your average CEO.
Precisely - the problem is that the whingers and loons are confronted here with a scenario that does not fit their model. In their world the rich, the right-wing, the anti-worker types and the well educated and well paid should be on one side of the equation, balanced on the other side by badly paid, poorly educated, semi-coherent left-wingers. When they are unable to squeeze their prejudices into that model they are left floundering, confused and bewildered - exemplified here on P.ie by some rather idiotic posts.
 

carlovian

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Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
5,077
It was reported in the press that Jack O'Connor earned 115K and David Begg 136K....I'm not sure if these salaries have been reduced since...

But private sector head honchos are always very cagey about revealing their salaries--as are ordinary private sector workers on this site.

Union bosses' salaries are not funded from the public purse so I don't understand this obsession with what the top guys earn.

The top guys in every organisation or business earn big bucks compared to you or me

The question is: Do they give value for money to those who pay their wages?

And in general the unions probably do.

Certainly there should be no surprise that "Joe O'Toole's grateful members voted him into the Senate"

More than any group the Primary Teachers saw improvements in their pay and conditions under O'Toole's skillful leadership....(not that I could ever stand the guy...but that is a different issue)

I don't know gatsbygirl.

If the union leaders are earning multiples of the average wages, money other people can dream of.

Then they organise a march against austerity.

It's a ill bit much.
 

gatsbygirl20

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Messages
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Why aren't you at the March? Too busy flicking through the pages of OK! Magazine at Peter Mark in Dundrum TC?
:)

You got it in one there, Mercedes.

Don't forget that there is always the possibility that I actually approve of austerity,--- but just like most posters here on P.ie--as long as it is austerity for someone else...not me...

We need a march to represent the feelings of the majority of the population: "Take a lot of money off someone else...but not a penny off me"

Now that would bring them out in their thousands...
 
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