Tuesday, 28 April 2020
Joanna Siewierska, President of UCD Students’ Union, said;
‘The three SU Shops (UCDSU CSL) had to temporarily cease trading on 12 March 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent closure of UCD campus. The company hopes to resume trading when Government restrictions are lifted and when UCD reopen campus.
As SU President, I would like to share with students that UCDSU CSL took immediate and extraordinary action to retain all of its 41 employees in employment, including full-time and part-time and fixed term employees despite the closure.
As a Students' Union and an employer, we are committed to doing everything we can to meet the challenges posed by the COVID 19 outbreak. Taking appropriate business decisions that sustains the viability of the operations and respect the rights of all of our employees is paramount to our work and our integrity. We are really proud to share with our community that despite the closures, we have not laid off a single member of our staff over this prolonged period and our priority remains to continue taking business decisions that puts the rights of our workers at the forefront.
Our employees bring a wealth of retail knowledge and experience, as well as a friendly face, to their roles and it is very important to me that we do not lose great employees during these unprecedented times.
Our fixed term employees are mainly students, who often work with us throughout their degrees and we could not function without them. It was essential for me that no student working with us would lose their role through this extremely difficult time.
No Shop income has been generated since 12 March 2020 when we temporarily ceased trading. We had to avail of the 12 week COVID-19 Temporary wage subsidy scheme to pay all of our shop staff from 26th March 2020.
From 12 March 2020 to 19 April 2020, all employees were paid 100% of their average net weekly wages. All shop staff were paid 70% of their net weekly wage from the government's wage subsidy scheme and UCDSU CSL topped up the remaining 30%.
From 20 April 2020 and for the foreseeable future UCDSU CSL rely solely on the COVID-19 Temporary wage subsidy scheme to pay our shop staff as we have no further available funds left to continue to top-up all employees weekly wages and pay commercial suppliers. We welcome the government’s decision to increase the COVID 19 Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme in Phase 2 from 85% of net weekly wages from 4 May.
UCDSU CSL is taking all actions necessary so that we are adequately prepared for a return to normality which we hope will come about sooner rather than later. We hope to open our doors in the near future and have our valued team of employees back to their 100% wage as soon as possible.’