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Concerns of staff at Oberstown must not fall on deaf ears – Ó Laoghaire

31 May, 2016 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Speaking this afternoon Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire called on Minister Katherine Zappone to ensure that the concerns of staff at the Oberstown child detention facility are heard, and that this issue is brought to a resolution as soon as possible.

The Cork South Central TD said:

“No one takes the decision to strike in the heat of the moment. It is evident that the staff feel very strongly about the current situation in Oberstown, and their concerns should be heard. I once again call on the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs to see to it that the issue of safety concerns, for both staff and residents of the Oberstown facility, is dealt with as a matter of priority, and in a timely fashion. This is in the interest of all involved in this dispute.

“I note the Minister is meeting representatives tomorrow in the WRC. She must realise that the staff in these centres are very committed and dedicated to assisting young people in need of high support.  This is evident from SIPTU’s statement this morning which said its members emphasised their desire to maintain high standards of care while the industrial action is taking place.

“Staff who are members of SIPTU and IMPACT have raised issues, both personally, and through their respective unions, for over 15 months now. These included issues of health and safety, for both the staff, and the young people, who are housed in this facility. The safety of all persons should be of paramount importance to the management structures of Oberstown. A safe environment should be a given when working in any sector. The management must engage with the staff in an attempt to resolve their grievances.” 

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