Mandatory Union Recognition in Ireland Podcast - Episode 2 Out Now

Stratis Consulting Insights Podcast…latest episode out now!


Are we heading towards some form of mandatory union recognition in Ireland? Episode 2


In this second (of four) episode… we debate the questions “Why has the so called ‘Right to Bargain’ legislation in Ireland remain largely unused and why have we seen a shift in Union strategy to focus on the European dimension to support collective bargaining in Ireland rather than pursue a constitutional referendum?”


In each episode Liam Doherty, Senior Partner with Stratis Consulting, is joined by Brendan McGinty, Managing Partner, Stratis Consulting, and Kevin Duffy, former Chairman of the Labour Court, who are leading employment experts to address aspects of this important question.


Next up, in Episode 2, we focus on the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015, the so called ‘Right to Bargain’ legislation, and discuss with Kevin and Brendan why it remains largely unused. We also explore the reasons for the shift in trade union strategy to focus more on the European dimension.


In the previous episode we posed the question to Brendan and Kevin as to whether the current national review of collective bargaining and industrial relations established by the Government can deliver a balanced outcome, and if so, what will that look like?


In episodes 3 and 4, we will also be discussing the following related questions:


  • Is there any real appreciation of the need to protect the special position of Multinational Employers who offer market leading remuneration and benefits and pursue high engagement practices with their employees?

  • Is there a risk that the focus of the Review will be on the Collective Bargaining and miss the potential for more significant industrial relations reform?


Listen here to Episode 2


About our Guest Speakers:


Brendan McGinty is a founding member of the Stratis team, along with Brendan McCarthy and Liam Doherty. He is a leading expert in people strategy, employee relations, employment policy, communications, change management, dispute resolution and public affairs. Prior to setting up Stratis Consulting he was Director of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Services with Ibec.


Brendan is Chairman of the Board of Skillnet Ireland Ltd, is Deputy Chairman of the Governing Body of the National College of Ireland, and previously served as a board member of the Labour Relations Commission (now the Workplace Relations Commission). He has a deep appreciation of national and European employment policy and has been involved in significant reforms of the workplace relations system.


Kevin Duffy is also uniquely positioned to discuss our topic for today considering his depth of IR and legal experience both in terms of the emergence of collective bargaining practice and of policy considerations in this area.


Kevin began his career as a bricklayer and was an official of the Bricklayers’ Union for 15 years. In 1987, he joined the Irish Congress of Trade Unions as Assistant General Secretary in charge of industrial relations. Mr Duffy – who is a qualified barrister – retired from the Labour Court in June 2016, having been appointed as Deputy Chairman in 1997, and served as Chairman since 2003. Kevin is an adjunct professor at the law department of NUI Maynooth and served as Chair of the former Public Service Pay Commission.


Kevin oversaw the transformation of the Labour Courts role under the Workplace Relations Act 2015. The Court plays a central role in the adjudication of union recognition cases under the Industrial Relations Acts and issued many significant decisions under the controversial ‘right to bargain’ legislation, being the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001-2015.


Kevin in addition to his private work, continues to provide valuable public service and under the Public Service Pay Agreement ‘Building Momentum’ 2021-2022, was appointed to chair two governance structures, the Public Service Agreement Group (PSAG) and the Tripartite Implementation Body (TIB), established to deal with problems, issues of interpretation and major disputes.





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