IMPACT suspends industrial action over ‘twilight’ arrears

Union to ballot members on proposals from Labour Relations Commission

IMPACT is to suspend industrial action from midnight tonight (Friday 25th September 2015) in a dispute over unpaid premium payments to 400 social care staff working in the Brothers of Charity and Ability West services in Galway and Roscommon. The work to rule action has been in place since Tuesday 8th September.

The union has welcomed confirmation from the HSE that the Department of Health is to seek €4 million to cover arrears payments, and a further €1m in the estimates and ongoing costs for 2016, which the HSE says are sufficient to cover the liabilities for employer organisations in Galway and Roscommon, in addition to employments in Cork, Limerick, Clare and Waterford where premium pay arrears are also outstanding.

These funds would meet the costs of proposals by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) which were tabled to resolve the dispute over unpaid premiums dating back over almost ten years.

IMPACT national secretary Louise O’Donnell said the confirmation of funds was a breakthrough for the staff, who had shown both courage and resolve in taking the industrial action. “These are dedicated staff providing a vital service to people with intellectual disabilities. Taking action was a difficult choice  but they had been left with no other options. They have made efforts to ensure that the action had minimal effect on service users,” she said.

The union will now ballot members on the proposals. Details of the ballot and information meetings will be circulated to members next week.