CIVIL servants begin industrial action today, amid claims the State is paying too much for some food safety inspections, writes Alan O'Keeffe.
If the action at the Department of Agriculture escalates, it could hit payments to farmers.
More than 600 staff begin a 'work-to-rule' this morning. Their union IMPACT is unhappy at the department's refusal to allow technical staff qualify for assistant principal posts. A department spokesperson said it would work with IMPACT "within the appropriate industrial relations mechanisms" to bring an early resolution, and said it was "satisfied a promotions competition at the centre of the dispute was run in accordance with the guidelines in place".
The union stated millions could be saved if certain inspection tasks were trans-ferred to technical staff.