Over 100 staff at Roscommon County Council are staging a one-day strike today in a row over flexi-leave.
In a statement to Midwest News, their union Forsa, says council management’s refusal to implement a flexi-leave scheme in the local authority has provoked this series of one day strikes, which are commencing today and are due to continue every Tuesday and Thursday. These strikes will impact on all council services.
Forsa says council management has refused to halt its effective ban on flexi-leave in spite of two binding Labour Court recommendations, two Labour Court clarifications of its position and one Labour Court clarification of its clarifications.
The union decided to take industrial action it said in the statement, after management refused to concede any progress in Workplace Relations Commission brokered talks, which have been going on for weeks.
The Roscommon County Council CEO Eugene Cummins told RTE that Labour relations forums have backed his view that flexi-leave must be approved by a line manager based on the council’s business and operational plans.
The council says the union is seeking an additional 13 days flexi-leave per annum, resulting in some staff having in excess of 50 days leave per year.
The widely available flexible working scheme allows staff to accumulate an extra day per month – up to 13 days per year – by working additional hours during a normal week.
Mr Cummins said this morning that if there is a defined business staff can work additional hours and those hours can be transferred into flexi-leave, but to date the problem has been that staff have been generating this leave without permission or purpose, rather than to suit the business needs.
He said he wants to manage that process more effectively to ensure business continuity is maintained and it can be better audited.
Padraig Mulligan is a Forsa official and told Midwest News today that this action will continue unless a compromise is reached.