| 15.5°C Dublin

Spat between AIB and Council as thousands of staff not paid on time

A DISPUTE arose between Dublin City Council and AIB after wages to local authority employees were not paid on time, it has emerged.

Thousands of council staff members were aghast when their monthly pay was not transferred into their account on the expected date.

The local authority's finance and HR departments were "flooded" with calls from worried workers, many of whom had mortgage and other bills due.

However, AIB did not take any responsibility for the blunder, according to Fine Gael's Ruairi McGinley, who is a member of the council's finance strategic policy committee (SPC).

The problem was discussed extensively at the last meeting of the SPC.

The meeting was told a council official had met with AIB following the incident but the bank "failed to acknowledge that they made an error".

"As a result, the protocols in place between the council and AIB have been reviewed," a report on the minutes of the discussions stated.

AIB "made a small donation to the city council to alleviate any financial difficulties experienced by staff as a result of this incident" and the fund is being administered by a council official.

It is believed some concerned council workers even thought the local authority had run out of cash when their wages did not arrive in their accounts.

Mr McGinley said the council gave AIB sufficient notice to pay the salaries on the scheduled date, understood to be the week following the May bank holiday.

The local authority was "very unhappy" when the money did not go in but the bank "did not accept any responsibility", he added.

Mr McGinley estimated somewhere in the region of 4,500 city council employees may have been affected.

He told the Herald there was a "hoo-ha" between the local authority and AIB over the issue.

At the time of writing, AIB had not commented on the matter.

Mr McGinley said, on the day the wages were not paid, "upset" workers flooded the finance and HR departments with calls.

There happened to be a union meeting on that day and the blunder did not help the mood at the talks, he added.

Like workers across the public sector, city council employees suffered wage cuts in the last Budget.