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FF blacklisted by public staff in pay cut row

Fianna Fail councillors sharply criticised a move by council and health workers to 'blacklist' them.

The Impact trade union is targeting Fianna Fail and Green Party councillors by refusing to deal with their representations on behalf of the electorate as part of the union's battle to get public service pay cuts reversed.

The union, which represents thousands of council and health workers, has already imposed a boycott on Government TDs and senators but will extend it to councillors from Monday.

Several Fianna Fail Dublin City Council members have joined a chorus of criticism of the union's decision.

They told the Herald they were angry that public servants were snubbing their representations while they co-operated fully with Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein councillors.

Impact spokesman Niall Shanahan said the blacklisting would apply everywhere, including all four councils in Dublin. But he believed that council staff in County Kerry decided not to cooperate with councillors from any party.

Dublin Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick said: "I'm deeply dismayed that the public service is being politicised in this way. I and my fellow Fianna Fail colleagues have a mandate from the people of Dublin to represent them....We had to fight to achieve it."

Cllr Deirdre Heney said: "It's out of order for anyone to say to us they can't help us. It's part of their job to give a service to the political representatives of the people."

Cllr Tom Brabazon, who is married to a public servant, said: "It is a little bit unfair to single out individuals like this. None of the six Fianna Fail members on the city council had any input into the Government's economic policy or pay policy."

Throughout County Louth, Impact began blacklisting Government councillors earlier than many others by snubbing them from March 1.

Impact vice-president Isabell Murphy, chairperson of the Louth branch of the union, said the action was "against those who we feel have agreed to the huge wage cuts imposed on public servants".

The blacklisting will continue until the Government agrees to "meaningful negotiations with trade unions".

Dublin Cllr Paul McAuliffe told the Herald he was informed on Friday last that council officials belonging to Impact will not be providing him with any information, will not answer questions put down at city council meetings and will not accept motions.

"Effectively, the action will mean that I can't do my job as a councillor and I will not have the right information to make decisions at council meetings."