Driver testers will stage a half day strike from 2pm on Wednesday 2nd April in a dispute over outsourcing. Their union IMPACT says further stoppages could follow if the dispute is not resolved.
IMPACT says management at the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is proposing to outsource testing in breach of a Labour Court ruling (LCR 20309), which recommended the recruitment of a reserve body of qualified testers to avert any possible backlog in test applications. The Labour Court recommendation set out a process for the recruitment of the reserve testers.
IMPACT official Denis Rohan said management had since ignored the Labour Court-recommended process and instead moved to engage subcontractors instead of recruiting reserve staff. He said management had breached its agreement with staff and had since refused to talk to the union about the issue.
A subsequent Labour Court recommendation (LCR 20681) in January this year was rejected by driver testers. Mr Rohan said that this was because the recommendation made no provision for talks on outsourcing arrangements.
Mr Rohan said management’s outsourcing proposals could also breach the RSAs own safety standards as it was not insisting that subcontractors hold the HETAC driver-tester qualification, which is a requirement for all RSA testers.
“We regret the inevitable inconvenience that will now follow management’s decision to ignore our concerns on outsourcing and the breach of agreement with staff. We have decided on a relatively short stoppage to limit the inconvenience, but the staff concerned feel they have been forced into this action because management is refusing to deal with the issue,” he said.