Posted on February 29, 2016
It's been a tough weekend and it's not over yet!
There are still recounts happening and there's even talk of lawyers having to come in.
But well done to everybody who ran strong campaigns on behalf of the Labour Party. Commiserations to my colleagues who didn't make it and congratulations to those who have been confirmed as elected.
Tomorrow I shall be handing in my Seanad election nomination papers and hope all Dublin University graduates eligible to vote will consider giving me their No.1 vote! #GE16
Posted on February 19, 2016
ONLY LABOUR WILL TACKLE THE GENDER PAY GAP - BURTON
Tánaiste Joan Burton today outlined Labour’s plans to stand up for women in the workplace, at home and in the community.
Launching Labour’s plan for equality today, Joan Burton said, if re-elected to Government, Labour will tackle gender pay issues by ensuring large companies and public sector employers make public the details their own internal pay gaps in order to stimulate stronger action towards pay equality.
The provisions in the ‘Standing Up For Equality’ plan include:
Posted on February 18, 2016
Only Labour will deliver a referendum to repeal the 8th
The Labour Party today launched its plan to hold a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment.
Minister for Communications, Alex White, Minister for Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, and Senator Ivana Bacik outlined how the party would deliver a referendum, and campaign strongly to repeal the 8th amendment, if returned to Government.
Speaking at the launch in Labour’s Campaign HQ this afternoon, Minister for Communications, Alex White, said: “It’s high time that this generation was given the right to choose – through a referendum – whether the 8th amendment should remain in our Constitution.
“No other major political party or grouping will deliver this referendum. Fianna Fáil doesn’t believe the people should be allowed to decide. Fine Gael can’t decide if the people should be allowed to decide. Sinn Féin claims to support a referendum, but will refuse to participate in government unless Gerry Adams is Taois each.
“So, there is only one choice for women and men who care passionately about this issue to recognise Labour as the one party offering an unequivocal – and realistic – pledge to deliver a referendum.”
Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin added: “My views and the views of the Labour Party have been very clear on this issue for some time. The constitution is no place to deal with such a complex and sensitive issue such as abortion.
“I believe there is a growing consensus on this matter and that we must ensure that we have a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment.
“The Labour Party has always led on the issues of social change and if returned to government we will deliver a referendum on this issue and replace the archaic 8th amendment with robust and pragmatic legislation such as we propose.”
Posted on February 18, 2016
Spring/End-of-term Newsletter, Seanad Éireann 2016
Have you checked out the latest news and highlights from my campaigns and contributions in my newsletter! Thank you for all your support, invitations and feedback, Ivana.
Posted on January 28, 2016
Order of Business, Seaand Éireann - Raised Matters
Thursday, 28 January 2016
Senator Ivana Bacik: I am grateful to the Leader for clarifying that the Seanad will sit next Tuesday and Wednesday, no matter what happens elsewhere. I also welcome the fact that we will have statements on the Report of the Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis on Tuesday because that gives us the opportunity to read what is in the report. Having read preliminary reports of it and its key aspects, I commend all those who were on the committee for the immense work they put into producing the report. I commend to Senators an excellent article by our colleague, Senator O’Keeffe, in The Irish Times today describing the work of the committee and, in very fair terms, some of its pitfalls and positive aspects and the lessons it holds for the future. Many things are now clearer as a result of the report, in particular serious matters in terms of the behaviour of the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator, which, we are told, informed the Government in September 2008 that the six institutions covered by the guarantee were solvent. That is a critical finding. I look forward to the debate on Tuesday.
I welcome the publication yesterday of the first national maternity strategy, which many of those involved in maternity hospitals, the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, midwives and others have welcomed. This strategy will move in a very welcome fashion towards a non-hospital setting for childbirth and a stronger role for midwives in childbirth, where there are no complications. Women and midwives have campaigned for that for many years.
I also welcome the publication yesterday of the new skills strategy which will lead to 50,000 new apprenticeships being created over five years. That is critical to the continued strength of the economy and its growth. It will give new opportunities for many young adults in particular.
Posted on January 27, 2016
Order of Business, Seanad Éireann - Raised Matters
Senator Ivana Bacik: I commend Senator Noone who yesterday on the Commencement raised the issue of a no-fry zone. This is an issue that is getting a great deal of support, particularly from parents. It seeks new planning regulations to ensure that chip shops cannot be located within 500 m of a school. This is part of a drive for healthier living and healthier eating among children in order to tackle the very worrying levels of obesity. I commend the Senator on raising it and lend my support to the many parents' groups supporting the no-fry zone campaign.
Link to full transcript of the Order of Business, 27th January 2016
Posted on January 20, 2016
Order of Business, Seanad Éireann - Competition Bill 2016
Tonight in the House I look forward to introducing a very important Private Members' Bill in Labour Party Private Members' time which I will be proposing and Senator Aideen Hayden will be seconding, namely, the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016 which seeks to expand the rights of collective bargaining for workers. It is a Bill that has been sought by trade unions for some years. I have been working on it for some years and I know the introduction of the Bill is being welcomed by SIPTU, the NUJ and Irish Equity, among others. Colleagues will be aware that the operation of the Competition Act 2002, in particular, restricts the capacity of unions to negotiate on behalf of freelance members, such as freelance actors or journalists, in setting pay rates. The Bill seeks to exempt certain groups of workers from the prohibition in competition law against price fixing. We are trying to take the middle ground to ensure there is no detriment to the consumer because the Competition Act is concerned with consumer protection. I am happy to provide a briefing on the Bill to any Members who wish to have one in advance of its introduction at 5 p.m. Members of the unions affected will be present in the Gallery tonight to see the Bill debated on Second Stage. It is an important plank of the Labour Party policy and it should receive a general welcome from across the House as well as from the Minister.
Posted on January 20, 2016
COMPETITION (AMENDMENT) BILL 2016 (Text)
Wednesday 20th January, 2016
In the Seanad today, Senator Ivana Bacik proposed the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016 on behalf of the Labour Party Senators, as a private members’ bill. Senator Aideen Hayden of Labour seconded the Bill. On behalf of the Government, Minister Richard Bruton did not oppose the bill, which passed Second Stage in the Seanad.
COMPETITION (AMENDMENT) BILL 2016 - TEXT OF BILL
An Act to delimit the application of the Competition Act 2002 to Trade Unions and
Trade Union Members and to certain agreements negotiated with public bodies, and to provide for related matters.
Posted on January 18, 2016
Debate: 'This House Believes Theism is a Reasonable Philosophical Stance' - hosted by The METAFIZZ: a Philosophers' Society.
On Monday 18th January, 2016 I was invited to speak at this Trinity debate organised by The Metafizz: a Philospher's Society.
Posted on January 14, 2016
Order of Business, Seanad Éireann
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Senator Ivana Bacik: 'I join others in wishing you, a Chathaoirligh, your staff and all present a happy new year. I also congratulate Mr. Peter Finnegan on his new appointment. I thank the Leader for facilitating a debate on flooding next week.