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New Opportunities in DCU 2016

February 1, 2016

New Opportunities for Study in DCU

In February it will be possible to undertake a single credit bearing module from a selection of the programmes on offer in DCU. This presents an opportunity for those considering a course of study to experience university without the committing to a longer four year programme.

Learning Opportunities in 2016

These modules will be undergraduate modules with no entry requirements. Each module is worth 5 credits and can be completed in a single semester

(February – May).

Participation

Participants may choose to register for these modules on a full participation or on an audit basis.

Full participants will undertake all associated assessment which may consist of some or all examinations, projects, essays and class presentations. Successful completion will earn academic credits and performance will be formally recorded by the University. Such academic credits may contribute to completion of a formal academic award by the University.

All participants will attend all lectures (and seminars/tutorials where these are scheduled) and will have access to all learning materials for the module including library and online resources. Full participants will have unrestricted access to the on-campus study supports.

Participants taking the modules on an AUDIT BASIS will not have unrestricted access to the on-campus study supports provided to full-time students and will not undertake formal assessment in the modules but will be invited to complete a reflection on the learning gained on their completion of the modules and gain a certificate of participation.

Scheduling of classes

Most modules involve two hours lectures per week and an associated tutorial for 12 weeks of semester/term.

Spring Semester 2016: February to April/May 2016

Classes: Monday February 1st 2016 to Saturday 23 April 2016

Examinations: Monday 9 May 2016 to Saturday 21 May 2016

Autumn Semester 2016: September to December/January (dates to confirmed)

Fees: 

Full participants €500 per module

Audit only participants €250 per module

A selection of modules on offer in 2016 (subject to capacity and accommodation, include):

  • Business and Professional Ethics • Ethics of Journalism
  • Introduction to Marketing • Citizenship, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Introduction to Law • Introduction to Microbiology and Genetics
  • Introduction to Modern Ireland • Sociology of Sport 1
  • The American Political System • Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Comparative European Politics • Critical Thinking and Health
  • Introduction to Development • Growing Older
  • Introduction to Intercultural Studies • Marginalisation and Health
  • Language Culture and International Communication • Spirituality, Religion and Health
  • Cultural Studies • Sexuality and Society
  • Psychology, Media and Creativity • Culture, Health and Illness

Intergenerational Learning Programme

In addition to these courses the Intergenerational Learning Programme will also continue to offer a range of courses from February.  Please check their website for details www.dcu.ie/education_studies/ilp/index.shtml or call Carmel Conroy 01 700 7428.

 

 

DCU in the Community 

Finally fDCU in the Community will be offering the following courses:

  1. Bridge to Education – 12 week programme aimed at mature learners to prepare them for university.
  2. A range of courses over the Summer (June and July) check for details.
  3. Digital Media iMac for those interested in developing their digital media skills.

DCU in the Communitycan be contacted at 01 700 8800 or www.dcu.ie/community.

For any further information please do not hesitate to contact

Christine O’Kelly

Age Friendly Project Coordinator
*01-700 8933*
*Bea Orpen Building*
*DG16*

Website: http://www.dcu.ie/agefriendly/index.shtml
*Office of the Vice President for External and Strategic Affairs*

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Budget 2016

January 27, 2016

A Start But More To Do

Towards a Programme of Recovery for Older People 2016-2018

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament welcomes Budget 2016 as a start in the process of Recovery for Older People and commit to our members that over the next two years we will continue to press and advocate for increased income and services for older people.

Our objective is to ensure that a Programme of Recovery and Restoration Process for Older People will be agreed and implemented in the period 2016-2018.

Based on feedback from older people before the budget we know that many of them will give a great welcome to the improvement in Childcare and Paternity Leave. Older People are worn out assisting with child care. In some cases they are sandwiched between the young and the old as they juggle caring duties for both. We were pleased to note the acknowledgement of this fact by the Minister for Social Protection in her speech.

We welcome the increase to 75% of the Additional Payment at Christmas (Bonus). We had sought the restoration at exactly that rate. Feed back from last year by members was most positive in relation to the Bonus. The €3 increase in the State Pension is a start in the process of recovery but only 60% of what we sought.  The increase in the means tested Fuel Allowance Payment is also welcomed at a rate of €2.50.  Many older people will also benefit from the restoration of the respite grant to its full level. The changes to the USC rates and bands will also mean additional monies for some pensioners.

“It’s a good start but much more needs to be done”.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Christmas 2015

December 21, 2015

 

Nollaig2009

Christmas 2015

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Bank of Ireland should listen to Minister Noonan and Civil Society Groups

November 4, 2015

Irish Senior Citizens welcome the intervention by  Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D.
& Call on Bank of Ireland to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament (ISCP) welcomes the intervention of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D. in respect of the unilateral decision by Bank of Ireland to alter the arrangements for customers.
Commenting Mairead Hayes CEO said “I welcome the intervention by Minister Noonan and his request to the bank to clarify how they will handle and assist vulnerable customers. I am concerned that where Bank of Ireland leads today, others may follow tomorrow. There is a need to regulate the method and manner in which banking services are delivered and the related audit trails”.
Continuing she said “I ask him to act now to get the bank to cancel its proposals and to initiate a discussion regarding a service for the future which will take the country and all its citizens to a secure system which is efficient and user friendly”.
Older people welcome the advances technology has made in all aspects of their lives. However there are serious concerns about the security and reliability of some of the technical systems in use in some companies. The ISCP are aware of the measures in Budget 2016 to encourage a move from cash to cards. However setting limits of €700 for in-person transactions displays a lack of knowledge of the position of many vulnerable people.
ENDS

For further information contact Mairead Hayes
4th November 2015

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Bank of Ireland must re-consider proposed banking changes

November 4, 2015

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament are deeply concerned that once again unilateral changes are being made by banks which restrict the ability of older people to access their accounts through the branch networks in face to face transactions.

Many older people will be affected by the Bank of Ireland proposed changes as they do not have access to digital channels and do not want to use ATM because of their security concerns.

By setting such a high level for Teller Withdrawals the bank shows scant regard for the safety of older people who wish to use cash. Aware that such transactions are declining, we urge the bank to allow older people to continue to transact their business in the normal way.

We have concerns that the desire to move too quickly maybe a cause of stress and anxiety and lead to targeting of older people by criminals. In time and in line with stated government policy the country will move to a digital system. We are not there yet and that is why we urge the bank to re-consider their proposed change.

With no malice we remind them that it was the Irish people who bailed them out and endured suffering and loss as a result. In that same spirit we urge them to exclude older people from this process.

Máiréad Hayes

2nd November 2015

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SENIOR CITIZENS SEEK RECOVERY PROGRAMME FOR OLDER PEOPLE

October 12, 2015

PRE-BUDGET /ELECTION SUBMISSION 2016

ECONOMY IN RECOVERY
All the indicators are that we are in RECOVERY. In their Spring Economic Statement government said that their expected spend for BUDGET 2016 will be €1.2-€1.5billion. January 2016 will start a phased three year process of restoration to public sector workers and pensioners of cuts imposed under the FEMPI legislation. Many in the Private Sector have also been awarded increases of between 2% & 5%.

RECOVERY PROGRAMME FOR OLDER PEOPLE
Aware that it will take a number of Budgets to restore the position of Older People we seek a three year Programme of Recovery 2016-2018 to start with Budget 2016. In Budget 2016 we ask government to show evidence of their support and commitment to our proposal for a three year Programme

Aware that there will be a General Election sooner rather than later, we are also asking opposition parties and independent deputies to indicate their support for our three year programme proposal.

The ISCP “ASKS” for Budget 2016 & Beyond

HOUSEHOLD BENEFITS PACKAGE (HBP)
Restoration of the Telephone Allowance.
An agreed time frame for the Restoration of the Household Benefits Package by 2018
ADDITIONAL PAYMENT AT CHRISTMAS (BONUS)
In Budget 2015 25% of the Bonus was restored.
 We seek a doubling of the increase in Budget 2016 to restore the payment to 75%
STATE PENSIONS – CONTRIBUTORY & NON CONTRIBUTORY & RELATED PAYMENTS
 We seek a FLAT across the board increase of €5 for all pensioners.
LIVING ALONE ALLOWANCE
 We seek an increase of €5 per week
AGED OVER 80 ALLOWANCE
Age related frailties bring increased costs to those aged over 80.
 We seek an increase of €5 per week
 To have the allowance paid to ALL older people when they reach age 80

JOBSEEKERS PAYMENTS FOR OLDER  PEOPLE AGED 60-66
Two categories of older people on Job Seekers payments need assistance.
Category 1-those aged 65 who because of the abolition of the Transition Pension are on Job
Seekers payment of €188.
Category 2– those aged 60-65 despite the welcome drop in unemployment figure are still
unable to get a job and are on a Job Seeker payments €188.
 We are seeking an additional €10 per week for both categories.
FUEL ALLOWANCE
We seek to have this means tested payment restored to 32 week over the three years 2016,
2017 & 2018 by
 An additional payment of 2 weeks for each year.
 An agreed process to trigger additional payments where the temperature drops
below an agreed level.
TRAVEL PASS SCHEME
 We seek the continuation of the Scheme in its present format.
UNIVERSAL SOCIAL CHARGE
 We seek an increase in the exemption level to €18,000. Where income exceeds this limit that
a rate of .5% applies to the first €18,000 with a 1% decrease across the remaining bands.
 That a solution be agreed to resolve the position of pensioners above the exemption
level, who do not have any element of state payment and as a result must pay the levy on
their total pension.

REFUNDABLE TAX CREDITS
 We seek payment of a cash refund to those whose income is too low to allow them to avail of tax credits.
STAMP DUTY ON PENSION FUNDS
This levy on (stamp duty) pensions was abolished in Budget 2015. From 2011-2015 the total payment is estimated to be €2.4billion. We request, in the interest of openness and transparency, that a full report be placed before the Dáil outlining all the projects on which the levy was spent and details of how the objectives were delivered. There is a very high level of anger among pensioners whose pensions have been reduced for life because of this levy.
RIGHT OF AUDIENCE OF PENSIONERS
 Pensioners continue to seek an equal right of audience in all and every setting where decisions on their pensions are being decided. This must include access to the State’s Industrial Relations Machinery. The process whereby matters can be appealed to the High Court is unsatisfactory. It is too expensive and there are lengthy delays.
APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEES
We seek
 A transparent method of Trustee Appointment Schemes so that pensioners have an equal voice in all matters relating to their pensions.
LEGISLATION ON RETIREMENT AGE
With the abolition of the Transition Pension many older workers are forced to retire at 65 and sign on.
 We again ask the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation to bring forward the necessary legislation to allow workers to continue in employment until age 66
HEALTH
Despite the increased allocation of monies health continues to be a source of concern.
 Additional services in the community are required to keep older people out of A&E.
 GP services should be provided on a 7 day basis.
 The upper age limits for screening must be raised. We have received good reports in respect of the current Bowel Screening programme.
 The Implementation Plan for the National Positive Ageing Strategy must include targeted goals for the HSE.
 The rollout of more Primary Care and Community Centres is essential.
OVER 70S MEDICAL Cards
We welcome the introduction of Over 70s GP Visit Only Card in August but we will continue to seek the restoration of the full over 70s medical card over the period 2016-2018.
 In 2016 we seek to extend to over 70s access to Public Health Nurses and Community Care Services.
 Dialogue to agree the introduction of the Full card in the period 2017-2018.
PRESCRIPTION CHARGES
The €25 cap per household is unfair to people who live alone and we will continue to seek the abolition of the charge.
 In Budget 2016 we seek a 50% reduction so that the charge for a single person would be reduced to €12.50.
 In Budget 2016 we seek the abolition of the charge for those residents of Nursing Homes whose sole income is the State pension or an equivalent amount.
HSE DRUGS REFUND SCHEME
 We seek a reduction of 50% to the HSE Drug Refund Scheme Cap for single households.
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE RELIEF
 We seek the restoration of the relief to total premium paid.
LOCAL PROPERTY TAX
 The Parliament is seeking to have those whose sole income is a State pension and those with equivalent levels of occupational pensions to be exempt from the charge.
INCOME TAX
 We seek the restoration of the Age Exemption to €20,000 and the Age Credit to €325.
 That medical expenses be allowed at the marginal rate.
RENT A ROOM RELIEF
To encourage those with spare rooms to participate in this scheme at this time of rental shortage
 We seek an increase to €18,000 in this relief until such time as the crisis subsides.
A fuller version of this document is available on request .

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ARE ALL STAKEHOLDERS AT THE TABLE TODAY IN GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS?

May 12, 2015

ARE ALL STAKEHOLDERS AT THE TABLE TODAY IN GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS?
As the discussions get underway today between Government and the Trade Unions we remind all of those involved that there are other stakeholders who are also been affected by FEMPI and AUSTERITY.

There are the over half a million older people who have endured the affects of the crisis in all areas of their lives. Today at the Annual Parliament Meeting of the Irish Senior Citizens we too will open discussions with the members through the delegates who attend about their members’ priorities for the coming year. We will meet to discuss and debate an Agenda that reflects the diversity of older people and the many issues of concern to all older people.

We too seek a Dividend for the sacrifices and hardship of the period of austerity we have endured. Some have seen elements of hope in the Spring Statement, while others are concerned that they may be last in consideration and recompense.

We call on Government to ensure that all Voices are heard as we embark on a process which will impact many lives for years to come.

NOTE THE IRISH SENIOR CITIZENS PARLIAMENT ANNUAL MEETING TAKES PLACE TODAY TUESDAY 12TH MAY FROM 13.30 HOURS AND CONTINUES TOMORROW WEDNESDAY FROM 09.20HOURS.

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