Local Authority News 2013
IMPACT has rejected claims that the local authority driver licence service was characterised by long delays. The claim was made by a Road Safety Authority (RSA) spokesperson in a radio interview, in which he tried to deflect criticism from the RSA after it took over the service this week.
Applications to a local authority voluntary redundancy scheme, announced earlier this month, will be considered on a case by case basis. Successful applicants will receive the terms of the package negotiated by unions and public service management last year.
IMPACT members have backed a deal on a single set of terms and conditions for office-based staff in Limerick city and county councils by a margin of 85%. The two authorities are merging into a single local authority under Government reform plans.
More resources are urgently needed to meet demand for emergency homeless, IMPACT’s Local Government divisional conference heard this month. Liam Wynne of Dublin City Council’s homeless accommodation services told delegates that the demand for emergency accommodation continues to soar while supply has remained static.
The Right2Water campaign, which has gathered over a million signatures throughout the EU, had another major breakthrough last weekend as French minister for housing and land management, Cécile Duflot, pledged her support and signed the petition. It’s the first time that an acting minister has supported and signed up to the campaign.
The union that represents senior fire officers in the Republic of Ireland has hit back at claims that the service is ‘top-heavy’ compared to the North. IMPACT says the fire and rescue service in the North employs 96 senior officers with a support staff of over 200 to serve a population of 1.8 million. In the Republic, which has a population of 4.7 million, the figures are 202 senior officers with around 100 support staff.
IMPACT has rejected a recommendation that the local authority senior staff officer (grade VI) grade be phased out over time. The union says the proposal – one of the recommendations in a recently-published management report on workforce planning in the local government sector – ignores the fact that the grade covers a very wide range of roles in different local authorities.
The Government is to press ahead with plans to transfer the driver licence function from local authorities to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), despite IMPACT’s warnings that services could suffer. The changes will take legal effect from 19th January 2013 and a period of nine months has been set out by the Government for the transition of services.