Midland unions prepare for ‘work to rule’

Unions representing staff in the public service in the Midlands have begun formally serving notice of industrial action on the Government to take effect from next Monday, in protest at cuts in pay introduced in the recent Budget.

Joint meetings with members are being organised by trade unions IMPACT, SIPTU, and INMO. Meetings have already taken place in Tullamore and Mullingar this week, with further meetings planned for Athlone’s Shamrock Lodge Hotel on Wednesday January 27 and the Longford Arms Hotel on Tuesday January 26.

The meetings are being used by the unions to brief members on the sustained work to rule/ non-cooperation campaign that is to commence this Monday January 25.

Speaking on behalf of the unions, IMPACT assistant general secretary, Denis Rohan, said, “This campaign is being undertaken to reverse the unfair and unnecessary wage cuts introduced by the Government in the recent budget - unfair because they will mean total salary reductions of up to 20 per cent for some public servants, and unnecessary because the Government rejected alternative union proposals that would have saved even more taxpayers money while protecting services as staffing and budgets decline because of the recession over the next few years.”

He added “Public servants are incensed at the severity of the wage cuts, having already taken an average 7 per cent ‘pension levy’ hit earlier in the year. There’s only so much workers can take and public sector workers have said they’ve had enough.”

Mr Rohan said his own union will advise members that actions including the following will commence on Monday January 25:

Refusal to co-operate with new work practices and changes, especially any matter considered in talks with employers prior to Budget 2010 and generally referred to as the transformation agenda;

Refusal of staff to work outside of their contract of employment (work to rule ), including the withdrawal of goodwill and ceasing work and duties carried out on a voluntary basis both during and outside of normal working hours;

Refusal to co-operate with redeployments not agreed with the union;

Refusal to co-operate with work associated with vacant posts or unfilled promotional outlets;

Refusal to perform higher duties without payment of the appropriate allowance;

Work stoppages and strikes on a selective and/or ongoing basis;

Refusal by union representatives to participate in workplace or national partnership structures and to insist that all matters involving change or having industrial relations implications are negotiated through the appropriate industrial relations fora. This includes using such fora for information and consultation arrangements.

“We are determined to continue with industrial action until the pay cuts announced by the Government are reversed,” concluded Mr Rohan.

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