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FAS funds and SIPTU/ICTU

On the subject of:

THE TÁNAISTE Mary Coughlan yesterday sought to play down a controversy with the European Commission that has brought a halt to the claiming of tens of millions of euro in European Social Fund payments.

Her department confirmed that a claim for €57 million spent by Fás on training and which was to be repaid by Europe, was withdrawn because of issues raised by European audits.

A prominent trade unionist has criticised a call for FAS to be shut down:

The Labour Party’s spokesman on education, the former minister for labour Ruairí Quinn, has called for Fás to be “shut down” as a result of this latest blow to its credibility. He said some of its budget should be transferred to educational institutions such as institutes of technology.

This sparked an angry trade union reaction from Siptu and Ictu president Jack O’Connor who is also a long-time member of the Labour Party’s national executive.“Ruairí Quinn was undoubtedly the best minister for finance in my lifetime but he is totally and completely wrong in his call for closing down Fás,” Mr O’Connor said.

Total amount SIPTU College received via the FAS Competency Development Programme (CDP) (2003 to 2008 inclusive): €2,068,571.6

Total amount ICTU received via the FAS Competency Development Programme (CDP) (2003 to 2008 inclusive): €2,460,274.73

Total for SIPTU and ICTU: €4,528,846.33

SIPTU and ICTU were two of the top 10 recipients of FAS CDP money from 2003 to 2008.

I think maybe Mr O’Connor should have mentioned these figures.

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25 Responses

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  1. Eoin says

    The unfolding of social partnership.

  2. john ryan says

    Ruairi Quinn is a “prominent trade unionist”?

    Really? Which union?

    and which union was Ruairi Quinn ever a member of?

    Are the rest of your facts as well researched as this one?

  3. Gavin Sheridan says

    @ John

    The prominent trade unionist referred to is obviously Jack O’Connor. I think you misread the post.

  4. john ryan says

    Yes, it was the mention of Quinn’s name after the phrase “prominent trade unionist”. That threw me.

    Because the idea of Ruairi Quinn as a trade unionist is just ridiculous.

    He’s as anti-trade union and public sector as this site.

  5. Gavin Sheridan says

    I wouldn’t say we are either anti-trade union or public sector. We are just pointing out some facts about who got money.

  6. John Ryan says

    Yes, that’s true. And you added it up over 6 years to make the figure look bigger, in order to give the headline an attention-grabbing millions aspect to it.

    Fás is also quite-unionised, which may also explain why a trade union leader was voicing concerns about the future of Fás – the effect that closing it down would have on its members, and voicing those concerns is what a trade union leader is supposed to do.

    A trade union leader doing his job, and you think it’s about course contracts – courses which are such vital financial importance to SIPTU and ICTU that you had to add 6 years of figures in order to make them more headline-attractive.

    your post also mentions the disputed 57 millions, before mentioning SIPTU and ICTU.

    Now, don’t play the innocent. here Gavin, you know what you are doing there. You are implying that the SIPTU and ICTU courses are part of the disputed courses.

    So. Inflating the figures and using rhetorical devices to link SIPTU and ICTU to sub-standard private sector courses.

    Nice work Gavin. Well done.

  7. Gavin Sheridan says

    You seem confused again John.

    I am implying that Mr O’Connor should disclose union interests in FAS/CDP monies. I think that’s fair enough in the context of arguing for the continued existence of FAS.

  8. John Ryan says

    But he’s arguing for his members. That’s what a trade unionist should be doing.

    You think it’s about money. Why is it so strange for you that a trade unionist would voice concern over the future employment of its members?

    As for this:

    “I think maybe Mr O’Connor should have mentioned these figures.”

    you are not implying anything there: you are stating something!

    you are implying, however, that the SIPTU courses are part of the disputed courses.

    No facts to go on, just cut and paste, a few figures thrown in, and let the reader do the rest. A real tabloid stroke there.

    Answer me this, though, Gavin. If the courses are the reasons why Jack O’Connor is calling for the retention of Fás, if the courses weren’t there, does that mean that Jack O’Connor would be telling his SIPTU members in Fás to just deal with it and accept that it is going to be closed down?

    You know nothing about trade unions, and nothing about trade unionism.

  9. Gavin Sheridan says

    This really is very simple. ICTU and SIPTU got large amounts of money from the CDP scheme.The unions should disclose how much they got. They have every right to argue for Fas continuing, but while doing so they should disclose how much they received from the CDP scheme.

  10. Dolores says

    Gavin spot on, when anyone, and that includes Trade Unions have a financial interest in anything they should disclose it. I am sick to the back teeth of workers being used to support what is in effect a money making scam for Trade Unions.

    Can someone, anyone tell me how many jobs where created from the now infamous Florida Trip????????

  11. Dolores says

    Sorry I must have got this FAS thing wrong, there was I thinking FAS was charged with getting people back to work, reading Johns post it seems FAS is purley in business to keep old Jacks members in jobs?????????? Well at least they have jobs feck the rest of us.

  12. John Ryan says

    I see you have found your true constituency with Dolores there Gavin.

    And you won ‘t engage with the failings of your article, the sleigh of hand with the disputed courses and SIPTU College.

    As I said, tabloid journalism.

    But, you’ve made a rabid right-winger like Dolores happy, which is a result I suppose. Another star for the fridge door there.

  13. Gavin Sheridan says

    Dolores has as much a right to her views as you have to yours John.

    My blog post has no failing as you suggest, and you have failed to deal with the substantive issue.

    Should this information have been kept from the public?

  14. Eoin O Liathain says

    Did IBEC or ISME get any money from FAS/Government, or is it just trade unions that are the substantive issue!

  15. Aaron says

    John, I think you need to stop trying to shut down the argument, as it does your argument no good…

    The point Gavin is making is, anyone with a financial interest or partnership with FAS ought to be making that clear while they are asserting that it should remain open.

  16. Dolores says

    John, call me right wing if you want, its of no consequence, the fact is I MAKE MY OWN MONEY, no one hands it to me, and I can account for every penny, and show you the fruits of my work. I am not in any cartel, I dont belong to any Trade Union or Political Party. But as a small business woman, I am sick and tired with this Bertie Legacy of jobs for the boys and throwing unaccountable tax payers money at Trade Unions or anyone who cant account for why, where, and who it was spent on.

    I am sure you are aware that half the last board of FAS were Trade Unionists, and sure didnt they make a great job of running FAS, maybe it was while they were sunning themselves in Florida, that they lost the car, hundreds of thousands of euro, and lets not forget the TV add that never was.

    John its a fact anything not actually worked for, is not taken care of, whilst on the other hand those who get up in the morning, earn their own living, and have to account for every penny tend to take care of money better, its just human nature.

    The Trade Unions need to get out of bed with the goverment and wake up to the fact that their cartel which spawned FAS and many other Qunagos like it cant be afforded any more.

    Get out from behind the Workers and actually do something like WORK for their money instead of always looking for hand outs from the Goverment to keep the threat of strikes at bay.

  17. Jack says

    Dolores last answer hit the nail on the head. I am surprised the left winger John did not try to put down her points. Maybe he has gone off on a freebee.

  18. steve white says

    I can’t think of a reason why the head of large trade union would want the state training body entirely closed down no matter how much his organisation got in funding via that body, not least anyone nominally left wing who would be in favour of the state paying for jobs training. just look at the outsourcing of jobs training in the uk for the more expensive and equally inefficent private option, although now thatIsay thatIwonder has it already happened here.., there is a question of co-option by the state of the leaders of large trade unions by social partnership and various funding schemes, they might also have problem with the same people having multiple positions and payments, or at least have a problem with boards that don’t seem to be very good at keeping up standards of spending.

    As always you let the figures speak for themselves, but would be better in more context, 2m in relation to the 600 million* figure in the IT article isn’t very much, maybe that* could have been included next to your aggregated figures, how much did SIPTU college spend in total in its running, whats its status now, was it set up entirely based on this EU CDP money? SIPTU itself must involve 10 of millions being such a large organisation. so how much is this CDP in relation to that.

    in regard to fas and the eu, the money was available so it was spent, im sure people would be in favour of competency development programs if they were competently carried out.
    its not the only money SIPTU got via the state, if the broadcaster didn’t challenge Jack O’Connor if he failed to mention this himself it would be pity.

    jack may have a point about merging in your blog post of the mispent money with the money given to SIPTU for the college courses and then further with the reaction to the suggestion of about closing fas down, we don’t know which contracts the EU audit had concerns with, although there have been questions over the spending of money by SITPU that it got via the HSE so maybe its not entirely unfair.

    your later post does explain it more http://thestory.ie/2010/09/14/fas-competency-development-programme/

    that gives me the idea for another exhibit, to help put these huge numbers in context

  19. Dolores says

    Jack just saw your comment today, yes thats what usually happens when you nail the argument on the head, its always followed by SILENCE!!!

    Just on Johns comment that I am a rabid right winger, well if earning less then my employees for some time now, and if keeping them in a job with a pension that I pay 60% for, (I cant afford a pension) and if having to pay them double time on Sunday and time + half on Saturday till 1pm and double there after, is being a rabid right winger then I must be one.

    If John cant match me in the above, what does that make him?? not someone who provides jobs and employment thats for sure.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Anonymous linked to this post on September 4, 2010

    [...] to see the union vested interests defend FAS. Jack could do with making some disclosures here. FAS funds and SIPTU/ICTU – The Story Generally, the list of who got what from the CDP are very interesting. The names of companies are [...]

  2. 11 Sixty Nine And Counting….. :: IS IT A STICK ? IS IT A STOOP…..? :: September :: 2012 linked to this post on September 12, 2012

    [...] by ‘Labour’ but is being encouraged by that party. SIPTU will never recover from ‘Slushfund Gate’, nore does it deserve to. This is a case of one useless organisation attempting to protect another [...]

  3. 500 (x4) 4 15 + 22 (+29?). | 11sixtynine linked to this post on September 12, 2012

    [...] by ‘Labour’ but is being encouraged by that party. SIPTU will never recover from ‘Slushfund Gate’, nore does it deserve to. This is a case of one useless organisation attempting to protect another [...]

  4. 11 Sixty Nine And Counting….. :: ‘BLOODY SUNDAY’ COMMEMORATION , DUBLIN , SATURDAY 26TH JANUARY 2013. :: January :: 2013 linked to this post on January 16, 2013

    [...] ICTU protest against wage and welfare cutbacks, in which SIPTU, amongst other trade union groups will take part, has been organised in this State for Saturday 9th [...]

  5. 11 Sixty Nine And Counting….. :: HEATING UP FOR A REDUCED OLD AGE PENSION. :: August :: 2013 linked to this post on August 14, 2013

    […] the best’ etc) but , really, that’s for the best as ’support’ from bought-and-paid-for organisations like that can give the gullible a false sense of security in that the wage-packet […]

  6. ‘SHATTER’ THE ILLUSION OF LONDON….. | 11sixtynine linked to this post on August 14, 2013

    […] the best’ etc) but , really, that’s for the best as ‘support’ from bought-and-paid-for organisations like that can give the gullible a false sense of security in that the wage-packet […]



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