Fórsa – it’s time to vote
by Niall Shanahan

Following more than three years of discussions between IMPACT, the CPSU and PSEU, a ballot of members on the proposed amalgamation of the three unions to form a new union – Fórsa – is now underway.

National conferences of each of the three unions voted in favour of the ballot and the executives of each of the three unions have recommended that members vote in favour of the proposed merger.

Similar ballots will be carried out by the CPSU and PSEU. The proposed merger will only go ahead if each of the three ballots results in a majority ‘YES’ vote.

The distribution of IMPACT ballot papers is almost complete. In addition to your ballot paper you will receive a covering letter from IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody and a comprehensive ballot information leaflet.

Members must return their ballot papers to their branch secretary (or directly to IMPACT if they have received a pre-paid envelope with their ballot paper) to arrive not later than 12 noon on Friday 17th November 2017.

This is a national ballot of all IMPACT members. All completed ballot papers received by the deadline will be counted on a national basis to determine the outcome of the IMPACT ballot.
A comprehensive FAQ is available on the IMPACT website, where you can also download the Instrument of Amalgamation document. The page also has details of Fórsa ballot workplace information meetings.

If members of all three unions vote yes and the amalgamation goes ahead, the new union would combine the strength of over 80,000 union members. This would make it the second largest union on the island of Ireland and by far the largest trade union voice in the Irish civil and public service.

The executives of all three unions believe that a larger, stronger and more powerful organisation would be able to deliver better outcomes for members in pay negotiations, workplace representation, individual membership benefits, and services to branches and activists, through the creation of:

  • One strong negotiating block representing over 80,000 members in the public service, civil service, semi-state sector, community and voluntary organisations, and also some prominent private companies
  • One articulate and expert voice speaking for public servants and public services across the country
  • Substantially enhanced services to existing and future members through the pooling of talents and economies of scale, and
  • A strong foundation for enhancing trade union organisation and campaigning in the public service and beyond

The proposal also includes strong safeguards to ensure an effective voice for individual grades, and to preserve and enhance the best traditions of each of the three constituent unions.

IMPACT blog: Fórsa – Time to make history again