Siptu seek to meet IFA over 'lack of adequate payment' to cover expenses for women’s team members

Trade union Siptu are seeking a meeting with the Irish Football Association over concerns raised by union members who play for the Northern Ireland senior women's team.

Siptu claims its members have concerns over "lack of adequate payment to cover the expenses of members of the squad".

Siptu Sport Sector Organiser, Denis Hynes, said in a press release that the union has written to the IFA Chief Executive twice to request a meeting.

"We have written to the IFA Chief Executive, Patrick Nelson, on two occasions in recent weeks, requesting a meeting to discuss our members’ concerns," the statement reads.

"These concerns include a lack of adequate payment to cover the expenses of members of the squad of the senior women’s football team when they are representing Northern Ireland in international competition.

"This is a central concern of our members because these insufficient payments are resulting in players regularly being left in a position where they are unable to afford the loss in earnings they must endure when part of the international squad.

"This results in players withdrawing and a lack of consistency in squads which in turn is undermining the ability of the team to qualify for major tournaments.

"Despite assurances that IFA officials would meet with the members of the team so they could outline their concerns and discuss possible strategies to resolve them, this has not occurred.

"While there has been some improvement concerning issues related to the preparation of the squad for international games, our members’ central concern which is the lack of adequate compensation while on international duty, has not been addressed."

A spokesperson for the IFA has responded to the claims from Siptu, telling BreakingNews.ie: "In recent weeks we have been made aware of issues raised by some members of our senior women’s international squad.

"We have requested a meeting with the players and believe that these issues can be resolved quickly with direct dialogue."

Last April, 14 members of the Republic of Ireland women's team made their grievances with the FAI public including the absence of match fees and, for the part-time players, the lack of remuneration for loss of earnings.

That press conference led to talks with the FAI, where the team struck a €100,000 deal - including a €300 match fee as well as €150 win and €75 draw bonuses and the introduction with immediate effect of compensation for loss of earnings.

By Steve Neville

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