IMPACT insists on motor tax redeployment talks

10th January 2012

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.

IMPACT has insisted there be a dedicated set of redeployment negotiations throughout the transition period, which is due to expire on 30th September, to ensure an acceptable outcome for its members. The union has held consultative meetings with members working in the driving licence area across the country.

IMPACT national secretary Eamonn Donnelly said the transport department had assured the union’s Local Government division that no member will be asked to interface with front or back office providers either during or following the transition period.

In a letter to members he also stressed the importance of protecting the public service against privatisation and called for an open dialogue between workers and the employer. “The manner in which this matter was handled by the employer will be cited to the Croke Park Implementation Body, in an effort to protect against an agenda of privatisation,” he wrote.

Eamonn also asked branches who foresee any specific problem to contact his office.  “It’s crucial that we work with members to prevent them from being exposed to any additional difficult circumstances. They are at the coalface and can identify issues before and as they arise to help us formulate clear positions during what will be a challenging transition period,” he said.

The Government’s decision is partly due to a European-wide initiative to introduce a credit card-style driving licence format across all 27 EU member states.

Paddy Cole