Blog Archive | Social Policy

Introduction of Pensions Equality Bill

Posted on December 06, 2017

With Senator Ged Nash launching two equality Bills

This Bill seeks to address the small number of cases where retired employees who were legally not permitted to marry persons of the same sex before a particular date may be deprived of certain pension benefits.

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Posted in: Human RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsSocial Policy

Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016: Committee Stage

Posted on July 06, 2016

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I welcome the Minister, Deputy Mitchell O'Connor, to the House. I also welcome the opportunity to debate this Private Members' Bill, which the Labour Party group of Senators introduced on Second Stage on 20 January of this year. On that date, it was not opposed on Second Stage by the then Minister, Deputy Richard Bruton. We have now brought the Bill back on Committee Stage and it is unusual in the sense that it is a Private Members' Bill going through Committee Stage but we anticipate we will have cross-party support on it. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the House for expressing support for this Bill. I also welcome the many observers here in the Gallery from across the trade union movement and from the ranks of freelance workers, many of whom are in the acting and journalism professions where the issue of bogus self-employed, if I may call it that, is very widespread.

Section 1 provides for certain definitions while section 2 provides for the substantive issue. This Bill stems from a longstanding Labour Party commitment to ensure protection of the right to collectively bargain for vulnerable workers who are freelance, particularly those in the arts, creative and media sectors. Senator Ged Nash and myself have worked on this for some time. It dates back 14 years to a ruling by the then Competition Authority, now the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. In 2004, it ruled, applying a very restrictive interpretation of the Competition Act 2002, that a collective agreement between Irish Equity and the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland was in breach of competition and that was an agreement that has set rates for voiceover artists. To give colleagues something of the practical import of this, until then, it was accepted that, for example, unions could publish freelance fees guides. This is a particular issue in the arts and creative sectors, in acting and so forth, where unions such as Equity and NUJ had long made agreements about minimum fee rates, a minimum floor of rights for freelance workers, many of whom were employees in all but name. I am talking about people like session musicians, voiceover artists and freelance journalists. As result of the 2004 ruling by the Competition Authority, that sort of agreement of setting a minimum floor of fees was now seen as in breach of competition law.

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Posted in: EqualityNewsSocial Policy

Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill - Second Stage Speech

Posted on July 05, 2016

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I welcome the Minister back to the House. I also welcome the opportunity to debate this important issue. All of us and others outside the House have spoken of the wider context in which the Bill is being proposed. All of us have seen horrific murders in recent weeks and months. Many have mentioned the shooting today in Lusk and there was another shooting last week very close to where I live in a busy shopping street in the south inner city. All of us have been shocked by the brutality of these murders and shootings and by the recent violence, although we acknowledge they represent only a small number of individuals who are connected to an international and national drugs trade and to criminal organisations. That is the context within which the Bill is being introduced and, clearly, a key aim of the Bill is to act to seek to tackle those involved in criminal organisations at low and middle level. I recognise that tackling organised crime at all levels is a priority for the Government and all of us acknowledge that. There is no doubt that the escalation of crime, particularly in inner city Dublin in recent months, requires a proactive approach.

I and my party colleagues in the Labour Party would emphasise, and I am sure most would agree, that tackling this level of this type of organised crime requires tackling the core issues of disadvantage, of drug use and of tackling these in a way where we do not only have a criminal justice approach. I share Senator Ruane's concern about criminalising addiction and my colleague, Senator Ó Ríordáin expressed that view recently in a debate on the misuse of drugs legislation. We would clearly support a model that would examine much broader issues and that would redirect attention and investment towards disadvantaged communities suffering from a lack of opportunity. We drafted our amendment along the lines of the amendment, to which Senator Mac Lochlainn referred, concerning the ring-fencing of any proceeds or money confiscated towards disadvantaged communities.

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Posted in: JusticeSeanadSocial Policy

#CampusLife - International Students & votes from abroad

Posted on April 14, 2016

Flags from some of the International Trinity graduates who have sent messages of support. #SE16

Trinity life for International Students - Thank you to those who have graduated and voted from abroad

I grew up in Cork but the family moved to Dublin when I was 14, so throughout my time as a Law student at Trinity, my family home was in Dublin – and for all Dublin students, it is great to have family support close by. So I know it can be very difficult for international students who may have travelled long distances to study in Trinity, far from their family homes. In 1989/90, when I was President of Trinity Students Union, and student welfare was a big priority for us, we kept an open door policy and all of us as SU officers worked hard to ensure students had as much support as they could get, particularly international students.

International Students are to this day very important to the Trinity community - I want to wish you all best of luck with the exams. Also to say a great big Thank You to all those Trinity alumni who have moved abroad following graduation, who are voting now from Australia, the US and Africa, among other places - and who have already given me their No.1 vote and sent kind messages of support! If re-elected, I hope to continue to raise any issues that you as graduates living abroad would like me to raise in the Seanad. Thank you!

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Posted in: EducationEqualityEurope/InternationalSeanadSocial Policy

Youtube: Listen to my contribution to the Trinity 'Meet the Candidates' event

Posted on April 11, 2016

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Trinity College Dublin organised an event last week 'Meet the Candidates', where all 16 #TCDSeanadElection candidates were given 4 minutes each to speak to the audience. It was also live streamed on Periscoope TV for anyone who couldn't make it. 

I took the opportunity to run through my Trinity life, my legal career and my Seanad record. Here are my 4 minutes - #VoteIvanaBacik No.1 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF3DxLIxTpQ&nohtml5=False

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionCulture & ArtsEconomyEducationEqualityEurope/InternationalHealthHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsResearchSeanadSocial PolicyThe EnvironmentWomen's Rights

Meet the Candidates / Ask the candidates - TCD Seanad Election 2016

Posted on March 30, 2016

Litir um thoghchán - Seanad Election 2016

Meet the candidates / Ask the candidates! 

Check out this very informative and potentially interactive webpage designed by Trinity College Dublin for the Seanad Elections 2016. Here is the link to my page! 

http://www.tcd.ie/seanad2016/candidates/ask/

 

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionCulture & ArtsEconomyEducationEqualityEurope/InternationalHealthHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsResearchSeanadSocial PolicyThe EnvironmentWomen's Rights

My best advice for everyone!

Posted on March 30, 2016

My best advice for anyone!

Trinity Students' Union asked me for some advice - here's how I'd encourage everyone! 

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionCulture & ArtsEconomyEducationEqualityEurope/InternationalHealthHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsResearchSeanadSocial PolicyThe EnvironmentWomen's Rights

#TCDLifer - Trinity College Dublin community life- Ivana Bacik is running for the Trinity Panel Seanad Elections 2016

Posted on March 21, 2016

At the Lincoln Gates, TCD heading inside for the nominations' announcement - Seanad Election 16

‪#‎TCDLifer‬ For most of the last 30 years Trinity College, Dublin has been an integral part of my daily life. I started as a student at 17, becameTrinity College Students' Union President in 1989/1990 during which I nearly went to prison for providing information on Abortion Rights along with the other officers, never missed a Trinity Ball, partied in the The Pavilion Bar, crammed in the Berkley Library Trinity College, ate chips in the The Buttery, debated in the The Phil, dined in the Common Room, rubbed shoulders with the academics, have lectured in the School of Lawsince October 1995 and in 2007 was first elected to Seanad Éireann as a Dublin University/TCD panel Senator. I would love your support to use the next 5 years to effect legislation, shape debates and bring your issues to the floor! Please consider giving me your No. 1 Vote! Vote Ivana Bacik No.1 #TCDSeanadElections

 

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Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionCulture & ArtsEconomyEducationEqualityEurope/InternationalHealthHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsResearchSeanadSocial PolicyThe EnvironmentWomen's Rights

Senator Jillian van Turnhout lends her support for my Seanad Election campaign!

Posted on March 21, 2016

With my colleague Jillian Van Turnout at the RDS, Count

Senator Jillian van Turnhout lends her support for my Seanad Election campaign!

Children's Rights advocate and 'Politician of the Year 2015', Senator Jillian van Turnhout lends her support to Ivana Bacik who is running for the Dublin University Panel in the Seanad Election 2016. #SE16 #TCDSeanad #UseYourVote

A huge thanks to Jillian for her endorsement! It's been an enormous pleasure and honour to work together over the past 5 years and I have no doubt we'll get the opportunity to work collaboratively again in the future. Many thanks, Ivana. 

 

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionCulture & ArtsEconomyEducationEqualityEurope/InternationalHealthHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsResearchSeanadSocial PolicyThe EnvironmentWomen's Rights

Supporters Video: Dr Mary Henry lends her support!

Posted on March 18, 2016

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Supporters Video:  Dr. Mary Henry was a former Dublin University (Trinity) Panel Senator, former President of the Penal Reform Trust and retired medical practitioner. In this video she talks about why she is supporting my campaign. ‪#‎RepealThe8th‬ ‪#‎SE16‬ 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYPndnzAXiQ 

Many thanks to Dr. Mary Henry for her call to support my ‪Dublin University Panel TCD Seanad Election‬ campaign and all her years of support to me, but more importantly the issues and her own commitment to equality, health and social justice. 

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionEducationEqualityHealthHuman RightsJusticeNewsSeanadSocial PolicyWomen's Rights

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