Council says it can't afford to pay staff's lost overtime
Published 19/05/2011 | 05:00
A LOCAL authority has been ordered to compensate staff who lost overtime, even though it claims it cannot afford it.
Cork County Council last night said it was "assessing its potential costs" after the Labour Court said it should pay employees one-and-a-half times their loss of earnings after it cut their extra hours.
The recommendation affects around 10 staff, some of whom may be entitled to payments of more than €16,000 for losing overtime two years ago due to budget cutbacks.
It comes as the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, yesterday claimed that local authorities made savings of €162m -- half of it by cutting payroll costs -- under the Croke Park deal.
The recommendation was reached after SIPTU lodged a claim for a group of workers who lost overtime of seven-and a-quarter hours every Saturday when work was outsourced.
It said some of them worked the overtime for up to 40 years.
UNITE took a second case on behalf of six fitters at the North Cork Area Garage, who lost overtime of two hours, four evenings a week, and other hours on mornings and public holidays.
It estimated the total loss per year at €16,580 per worker and sought twice the annual loss.
The court did not set the compensation payments but said this should be worked out by the unions and council.