Industrial action by members of all four trade unions at council proceeds after management renege on commitment to partnership-based job evaluation process
Trade unions at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council confirmed that industrial action is to commence at the local authority body. The action is set to commence with a work-to-rule by members of GMB, NIPSA and SIPTU on Monday April 10th with members of Unite the union joining the action from April 12th.
The unions have warned that the industrial action, although confined to a ‘work-to-rule’ at this stage, is likely to result in significant impact to council services including those at leisure centres and with bin collections.
The industrial dispute proceeds after members of all four unions voted for both strike action and action short of strike action in ballots. The dispute centres on attempts by management to ditch an earlier commitment to a partnership-based approach for job evaluations under the Review of Public Administration (RPA). Management are also seeking to remove allowances for new staff members – creating a two-tier workforce. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is one of the last remaining councils to have completed the RPA process – despite the new councils coming into being 8 years ago.
The work-to-rule will see workers refuse to take on overtime, tasks outside their job description, providing absentee cover or using their own vehicles for work purposes.
Spokesperson for the trade union side, Kevin Kelly said:
“Members of all four trade unions at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have lost confidence in management. They are reneging on written commitments entered into when the last dispute was concluded and they are both wanting to move away from a partnership-based approach to job evaluation but also remove allowances from new recruits creating a two-tier workforce. This is not something our members will accept.
“It is unbelievable that management believe they can insult the intelligence of our members. Do they think workers or their trade union representatives cannot read or understand the agreements reached. We are clear that this tactic will not work and we will take whatever action is required to ensure it stops.”