Failure to agree education safeguards leads to ballot

IMPACT members who work in new education and training boards (ETBs) are balloting for possible industrial action over management’s failure to conclude an agreement on issues arising from the establishment of the new bodies and the transfer to them of services previously delivered by FÁS and currently managed by SOLAS.

The union has highlighted the failure to agree a framework to deal with workloads, the filling of vacancies, the consolidation of long-term acting positions, and the “intense effort” required to absorb SOLAS staff and structures. The staff concerned have already cooperated with huge changes arising from the merger of 33 vocational education committees into just 16 ETBs.

In a letter to members, IMPACT’s National Education and Training Boards (NETB) branch executive says it envisages industrial action taking the form of non-cooperation with the next phase of the transfer of SOLAS functions to the education and training boards.

IMPACT’s NETB branch has expressed disappointment at the long delay in finalising an agreement similar to that reached with Siptu and the AHCPS and say time is running out as the second phase of the transfer of SOLAS functions approaches.

IMPACT official Pat Bolger said staff had waited too long for assurances that they would be protected as they enhance the service and make it even more effective and cost-efficient. “This is about protecting the dignity as well as the interests of staff who have already delivered massive change and efficiency. As always, the union remains available to negotiate, but we now need members to show their support for industrial action to help get management to move on these important issues,” he said.

Members of the NETB branch have until noon on Friday 23rd May to vote.