Irish Water: Lack of engagement by employer representatives’ forces dispute escalation
- Tuesday 1 August 2023
Unite the union seeks engagement with LGMA over shortcomings in proposed Framework
Pickets set for eight local authorities from 00.01 Wednesday [2nd August] to 23.59 Friday [4th August]
Unite members working in water delivery services for eight local authorities around the country will escalate their industrial action this week with a further three days of stoppages. Water workers will take strike action at Carlow County Council, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Fingal County Council, Kerry County Council, South Dublin County Council, Tipperary County Council and Waterford County Council.
The action is due to the continued refusal of local authorities and its representative body, the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) to meaningfully engage with the union over its members’ concerns regarding shortcomings to the ‘Framework for the Future Delivery of Water Services’ document put forward by the Workplace Relations Commission last year.
The Framework document was rejected overwhelmingly by Unite members employed in water services delivery as essential workers, as it failed to address their concerns.
Unite is seeking a commitment that members transferring to Irish Water will retain their public service status, a strengthening of existing commitments regarding protection of local authority workers involved in water services delivery, and a removal of service and age barriers for those wishing to avail of the redundancy option.
Furthermore, the union has urged that the framework be amended to specify a date and wording for a referendum enshrining public ownership and management of Ireland’s water system in the Constitution.
Unite wrote on 20th July to the Local Government Management Agency to notify the employer of the escalated strike action. The union has indicated that it remains available to meet directly, or via a proposed and agreed third party, to attempt to resolve the dispute.