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Saturday 18 November 2017

Agriculture staff issue work-to-rule threat

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Department of Agriculture staff are threatening to delay farm payments and disrupt agricultural exports from next Monday, according to an IMPACT statement.

While the action will start with a work-to-rule policy, the union plans to escalate its actions throughout February if they don't make any progress with management.

The row centres on the agriculture department's refusal to allow technical staff to qualify for assistant principal posts, which is in defiance of a new civil service-wide policy according to IMPACT.

"Management persists in transferring (technical staff's) duties to higher paid civil servants and unnecessarily allocating inspection work to expensive external contractors," said IMPACT national secretary Eamonn Donnelly.

He pointed to an internal review that showed that veterinary inspection costs could be more than halved by allocating work to agricultural officers.

The Department responded by claiming that it has worked with IMPACT to bring about necessary changes in working practices since the collapse of the State's finances in 2008.

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