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The Office Block
31 minutes | Mar 6, 2020
Episode 14: International Women’s Day Podcast
For International Women’s day, we focus in on 2 issues. We look at the gender pay gap and sexual harassment in the workplace. Joined by Laura Bambrick from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and Denise Roche from the National Women’s Council of Ireland, we ask: What can be done to narrow the gap, and how widespread is sexual harassment in the workplace? With 4 out of 5 women who experience sexual harassment in the workplace not reporting it, Laura explains what needs to be done to make our workplaces better. Denise helps explian what the gender pay gap means in practise, and how pay transparency, legislation and a new workplace culture can help. Hosts Paul Dillon and Annemarie Butler take us through the topics. Remember to go to: www.theofficeblock.org and check out @TheOBtweets for more. Join the Financial Services Union www.fsunion.org/join.
27 minutes | Jan 31, 2020
Episode 13: Working to live or living to work?
Our latest episode drops at the height of a General Election campaign. We look at work-life balance and why it’s one of the health and safety issues of the century. What can be done to prevent overwork, burnout and stress? We talk to Gareth Murphy, Head of Industrial Relations and Campaigns with the Financial Services Union, about what the “right to disconnect” and ask what workplace polices should be introduced. One of the main issues of the election has been the campaign to stop the planned increase of the pension age to 67 to 2021. This has been spearheaded by SIPTU with the #Stop67 campaign. We talk to SIPTU Deputy General Secretary Ethel Buckley about how the issue has mobilised activists and trade union members. As always, you can tweet us @TheObtweets and find us Facebook at the Office Block. Head over now to find details of our new poll on work life balance. For more, go to www.theofficeblock.org.
22 minutes | Dec 3, 2019
Episode 12: Game Workers Unite with Ellen Cunningham
Game Workers Unite in Ireland - a branch of the FSU - has been making some waves of late. The newly formed community of game workers is seeking improvements in terms and conditions across the sector, and have already had success in attracting activists, volunteers and members. In this latest edition of the Office Block Podcast, Game Workers Unite Ireland coordinator Ellen Cunningham talks to Paul Dillon about the Games industry in Ireland and workers are coming together to make change happen. They talk about some big issues facing Game Workers, and delve into some important topics affecting the sector which have captured headlines in the past. Episode 12 takes up a theme previously covered in Episode 5, where we discussed tech workers uniting and looked at the international Game Workers movement. You can catch up on all our previous podcasts on www.theofficeblock.org. Find us on twitter @TheOBtweets or on Facebook @theofficeblock
22 minutes | Nov 11, 2019
Episode 11: “Right to disconnect, mental health and more”
For our latest edition, we return to some familiar themes. In episode 2, we looked at automation and digitalisation. In this episode, we look at the impact of technology in the workplace. Dr Caroline Murphy of the University of Limerick joins us to look at the recent FSU report "Technology Work and Skills: The Impact of Technology on Employees". We talk to Caroline about the 'right to disconnect' from work, and how the report was produced. Minding mental health has also been a big topic here at the office Block. Previously, we talked about how the importance of mental health at work. We continue on that theme with Dec Coates, who is a sector committee member with the FSU. A big thanks to both Dec and Caroline for joining us. We would be grateful if you could spread the word. Find us on facebook @theofficeblock Find us on twitter @TheOBtweets
29 minutes | Jul 29, 2019
Episode 10: Rights at Work: Pay Trends in Ireland and Collective Bargaining
Rights at Work: Pay Trends in Ireland and Collective Bargaining In this episode of the Office Block, we look at current pay trends in Ireland. What is happening in wages and salaries? What is the role of trade unions in setting pay in Ireland. We drafted in Professor Bill Roche of UCD to look at the detail. Collective bargaining is the process where unions agree pay, terms and conditions with employers which apply across society. It leads to better outcomes for workers, and more equal societies. Why does collective bargaining matter? How does it work in practice? Why is collective bargaining under strain in Europe? To answer these questions and more, we asked Dr Valentina Paolucci of UCD. We also look at collective bargaining in Ireland, and what can be done to advance rights and representation in the workplace. As always, we want to hear from you. You can join the conversation over on our Facebook page (The Office Block) or on twitter @TheOBtweets
23 minutes | Jun 11, 2019
Episode 9: Minding your Mental Health at Work
We all need to mind our mental health, and the workplace has an important role to play. But are employers doing enough? What does positive mental health in the workplace look like? On episode 9 of the Office Block, we answer these questions and more. We talk to Maeve Brehony, Senior Industrial Relations Officer with the Financial Services Union, on how trade unions are working to promote positive mental health in the workplace. Good workplace policies, secure working environments and a positive workplace culture are all important. We talk to Maeve about positive, practical steps that can be taken and how good mental health can be promoted at work.
23 minutes | Apr 5, 2019
Episode 8: "Disability And The Right To Work".
What rights exist for people with disabilities at work? What are the changes that are required to make laws fairer, and what supports currently exist for people with disabilities in employment? We delve into these questions, and much more on our latest podcast, episode 8 of the Office Block. Our guest is Suzy Byrne. Suzy is a highly experienced and well known activist on disability issues. She is a regular contributor to the national media, and a senior advocate with the National Advocacy service. Thanks to everyone for their feedback from previous editions. Please feel free to contact us on Twitter or on Facebook. We have no specific poll this month as we are still pushing our #YourSayOnFinance survey. So, we as a union, can improve the lives of people who work in finance. https://yoursayonfinance.org/
22 minutes | Feb 11, 2019
Epsiode 7: "The Finance Workers Survey With Gar Murphy."
In Episode 7, we sit down with Gareth Murphy, acting general secretary of the FSU, to talk about the union's agenda for finance workers. What are the trends on pay and working conditions in the sector? What are the union’s priorities for members? What are the big issues cropping up for staff in the sector? We delve into these questions and more. We also take a look at the FSU's finance workers survey, which is a major attempt by the union to take the pulse of finance workers across the sector. Listen to Gareth and Paul talk about the reasons behind the survey, and how the survey will help raise the issues facing finance staff. For more on the survey check out our dedicated website over at www.yoursayonfinance.org and make your voice heard at #yoursayonfinance Thanks, as always, to the listeners who have been in touch. If you want to suggest a topic to us drop us a line via Twitter at @TheOBtweets or on Facebook.
28 minutes | Nov 6, 2018
Episode 6: "The Culture Of Bullying in the Workplace."
How widespread is workplace bullying? How can it be dealt with? What should someone do if they are a victim of workplace bullying? How do we create positive workplaces which promote decency? In our latest podcast, we look at these questions and more with Mandy La Combre, Senior Industrial relations Officer with the Financial Services Union. Mandy uses her skills and experience to guide us through the legal issues around bullying and harassment, and talks us through how to practically respond to these issues in the workplace. We also look at the responsibilities of employers in this area. So our poll this month is "Should employers do more to deal with bullying in the workplace?" Head over to our Facebook page to take part in that.
47 minutes | Sep 24, 2018
Episode 5: "Can Tech Workers Unite?"
Hello and welcome to episode 5 of the Office Block. On our latest show we talk tech workers, and the conditions and rights they face at the cutting edge of the modern workplace. There are 92, 000 people working in information and communication in Ireland, and the stats show that the trade union organisation is weaker here than almost any other sector of the economy. But a change may be afoot. Internationally at least, there is a big move towards discussing how tech workplaces can be made better. One example is the work being done by the Game Workers United group, who are advocating for workers’ rights the growing games industry. They have featured in The Guardian as well as a host of titles aimed at the industry. Host Paul Dillon caught up with their acting chief Organiser in the UK, Declan Peach, to talk about his work. Paul also caught up with Wendy Liu of the Tech Workers Coalition, and discussed her work and her views on working in tech. As usual, check out www.theofficeblock.org, sign up to our mailing list, and search for us on Facebook and instagram to join the conversation. So our poll this month is: Tech is making a big impact on our lives. From Airbnb to Deliveroo and Netflix and Chill. But should tech companies be more conscious of their responsibilities to society? Head over to our Facebook page and take the poll.
36 minutes | Jul 31, 2018
Episode 4: "Who's Winning The Generation Game?"
Changing terms and conditions are altering the world of work for all, but are there winners and losers? Are the old gaining at the expense of young people who are sandwiched between low wages and high housing costs? Paul Dillon was joined by two experts in the generation game - Stephen Kinsella and Laura Bambrick - to look at changing demographics and how shifts in employment, pensions and access to housing have affected the relationships between the generations. Stephen Kinsella is a Senior Lecturer in Economics in the University of Limerick, and he writes a weekly column for the Sunday Business post. Laura Bambrick is the new policy office with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. So our poll this month is: As always we want to keep the conversation going, so the question for this month is are younger generations losing out at work? Head over to our Facebook page and take the poll.
38 minutes | Jul 3, 2018
Episode 3: "Productivity, Performance and Pay In The Workplace."
Host Paul Dillon was joined by Sinead Pembroke of TASC, the think thank for action on social change, and Gareth Murphy of the Financial Services Union (FSU), to look at the latest trends on pay. There was a particular focus on how pay is structured in the Financial Services Sector and performance related pay structures. Sinead Pembroke has written and researched extensively on working conditions in Ireland. Gareth Murphy, as head of Campaigns and Industrial Relations with the FSU, has extensive experience in negotiating pay with major employers in Financial Services. Together, they navigated the salary issues facing people working in financial services. Does performance related pay work? If so, for whom? Why is the real value of wages falling? How can staff get good pay increases? Tune in and and listen to the discussion on these issues and more. As always, we want to hear from you. Head over to our Facebook page, for our poll on transparent salary scales. Sign up to our newsletter on our website to receive the latest updates from The Office Block. Poll Companies often operate pay in a secretive manner to the detriment of staff. Information on salary ranges is often kept hidden from staff. This means that workers often lack the knowledge to be able to challenge potential discrepancies and/or discrimination. There is a growing movement for pay transparency. So we are asking: Should companies have to publish salary ranges to their staff?
49 minutes | May 22, 2018
Episode 2: "The Robots Are Coming! Automation, Digitalisation & Big Data."
Host Paul Dillon (with a little help from Gareth Murphy) delved into one of the biggest topics facing people working in finance today. What are tech changes doing to our jobs? What will a future finance sector look like, as automation and digitalisation continue apace? We asked the experts. Dr Christina Colclough, of the UNI Global Union, joined us to delve into her research. Christina, who describes herself as a tech nerd with a social conscience, runs futureworldofwork.org, which is well worth a visit. Dr Larry Stapleton, of the Waterford Institute of Technology and the knewfutures.com website, joined us to give his vision of "technology serving humanity". Dr Michelle O'Sullivan of the Kemmy School of Business and Dr Lisa Wilson joined us for our panel discussion. As always, we want to hear from our listeners on the topics we cover on the show. Discussion on rapidly changing technology and the finance sector continue to grab headlines. But one issue that has received less attention is how technology is impacting the nature of work in finance everyday-how management and supervision is changing as new technology is introduced. So our poll this month is: Reports show that employers use of monitoring/measuring technology and also communication tools are increasing work related stress. Smart phones and devices mean workers are constantly on-line and in communication with work. and this leading to stress, burn-out and a worsening of work life balance. Do you feel your employers use of technology is causing you stress? Head over to our Facebook page and take the poll.
63 minutes | Apr 11, 2018
Episode 1: "Stress, Tech, Brexit & The Nine Claims Owed All Interns..."
Episode one is available now. Host Paul Dillon was joined in the studio and over the phone for a free-wheeling discussion that took in topics like mental health and technology in the workplace, how big data is dominating the headlines, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) , the Brexit jobs dividend, the fallacy that interns are some special category of worker completely devoid of protection under the law and how Ireland is stuck doing the unglamorous “back office” jobs of the financial sector. Our guests were academic and self-confessed “subversive in the business school” Deirdre Curran from Galway, solicitor and employment law specialist Richard Grogan, Jack Horgan Jones from the Sunday Business Post and dialing in all the way from Paris was freelance journalist Emma Kennedy. We’re looking to hear from our readers about their experience of internships and running a poll asking do you trust your employer to handle your personal data correctly? You'll find the poll on our Facebook page.
1 minutes | Apr 3, 2018
Details Of Episode One
Coming up on episode one of the Office Block podcast, we have a panel discussion on topical issues in finance and banking. Joining us this month we have Jack Horgan Jones, Emma Kennedy and Richard Grogan. Jack is a business correspondent with the Sunday Business Post, where he often devolves into finance and banking issues, among others. Emma Kennedy is a freelance journalist. She is also qualified financial advisor and an author. She joins us on the phone from Paris. Richard Grogan is a solicitor with over 30 years experience, and he is head of Employment Law and Dispute Resolution at Richard Grogan and associates. The show will be delving into the latest issues affecting people who work in finance and banking in Ireland. We have a feature interview too with NUIG academic Dr. Deirde Curran on stress in the workplace, and what to do about it. Deirdre Curran lectures in the School of Business and Management in DIT. She has written and researched extensively on conflict resolution, mediation and HR issues. ------ Music By The Passion HiFi www.thepassionhifi.com
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