Day of action will include a protest outside the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government at the Custom House, Dublin at 2pm
IMPACT members in Local Development Companies (LDCs) are supporting a day of action today (Wednesday 18th February) to highlight the refusal of the Department of Environment to accept a Labour Court recommendation (LCR20890 8th December 2014) to enter into meaningful discussions with community workers, and their union representatives, about changes to their conditions of employment and threatened job losses.
LDCs work in communities with low income families, lone parents, people with disabilities, early school leavers and the travelling community, among others. The LDCs have been facilitating these, and other community projects, for over twenty years. However, the decision has been taken by the Department of Environment to disassemble the current infrastructure and replace it with a tendering process.
The Department was due to announce the successful tender bids today, but this has been deferred until next week (Wednesday 25th February).
IMPACT assistant general secretary, Geraldine O’Brien, said workers in the sector are very concerned about the move. “There are more than 50 LDCs, employing almost 3,000 people. However, there will not be enough contracts awarded by the department to ensure all LDCs will receive future funding. This will ultimately lead to a reduction in services and the probability of job losses. These LDCs facilitate crucial work in the communities they serve, from drug addiction services, upskilling early school leavers and homelessness services.
“No transition process has been put in place by the Department to ensure this work will continue. Private companies, obviously more interested in profit than service provision, could end up providing these services” she said.
The day of action will include a protest outside the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government at the Custom House, Dublin at 2pm today (Wednesday, 18th February).
Ms O’Brien said that the union is in the process of preparing a ballot of community sector members for protective industrial action against possible redundancies and job losses.