The Labour Relations Commission (LRC) has today (Wednesday) invited IMPACT and South Dublin County Council to talks on the current dispute over the council’s unilateral imposition of pay cuts on some council staff. IMPACT has accepted the invitation, and a meeting will take place at the LRC next Monday (30th June).
The LRC has also asked IMPACT to defer a second one-day strike, planned for tomorrow (Thursday). IMPACT has agreed to do so, with the scheduled industrial action now postponed until Thursday 10th July. IMPACT national secretary Peter Nolan said that limited industrial action, which members have engaged in for almost four weeks, would continue.
Yesterday (Tuesday) 600 IMPACT members in South Dublin County Council took strike action, which resulted in the closure of civic offices in Tallaght and Clondalkin, along with seven libraries in the council area. The public was unable to make payments or raise problems or queries over water services, housing, roads, economic development, traffic and other local authority services. IMPACT members in depots providing water, drainage and other services only responded to emergency call-outs.
The strike, and other industrial action, was provoked when council management cut the pay of 13 of its staff and revealed plans to do the same to another 150 workers. The staff concerned have been carrying out extra work with additional responsibilities – some of them for as long as 12 years. Now the council says they must continue to do this work, but it is taking away the extra payment – called an ‘acting payment’ – that goes with it.
IMPACT official Peter Nolan said the unilateral pay cuts were a breach of the Haddington Road agreement and said industrial action had been escalated because of management’s continued refusal to deal with the situation through proper procedures. He said staff had received huge support from councillors at the first meeting of the new council.