Sunday 18 August 2019

Public sector trade union Forsa to ballot for strike action if 12-year-old pay promise is not honoured

Head of Fórsa Derek Mullen. Picture: Dylan Vaughan
Head of Fórsa Derek Mullen. Picture: Dylan Vaughan

Ralph Riegel in Kilkenny

TRADE union Forsa has voted to ballot its members for industrial action if a 12-year-old pay promise is not honoured.

The union overwhelmingly ratified a motion from the Wexford local government branch demanding that a 5pc benchmarking award from 2007 for senior executive officers now be honoured.

A motion demanding action on the pay award was tabled at Forsa's local government and services annual conference in Kilkenny.

While sanctioned in 2007, the 5pc pay award was suspended by the following year because of Ireland's economic and financial crisis.

However, Forsa maintained that under the terms of the Public Sector Stability Agreement (PSSA), a commitment was given to review all such awards - and pay them if the conditions involved are still valid.

The PSSA terms run until 2020.

Around 200 senior executive officers working in local councils are now affected by the benchmarking award.

Forsa national secretary Peter Nolan said the union executive fully back the Wexford motion.

"However, we want to consult with the people directly involved first," he said.

The majority of senior executive officers are in the third tier of local government management and largely work alongside specialists such as engineers.

Forsa has now warned that unless the 5pc benchmarking pay award is sanctioned by June 1 next, a ballot for industrial action will be organised once the members involved have been properly consulted.

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