Fianna Fáil Cllr. Paul Canning has called on the local authority to provide clarity for the future of staff of the council’s water and environment section before they are asked to proceed on the survey required to identify domestic water connections for planned metering.
Cllr. Canning asked whether Irish Water, the planned water utility that will come under Bord Gais, will keep the current council staff in the same jobs. He said he feared a loss of staff “will have a devastating effect on services that exist”.
Fianna Fáil Cllr. Rena Donaghey seconded the motion, saying, “These are skilled workers and have invaluable local knowledge”.
In response, Joe Peoples, acting council director of water and environment, said the county manager is in the process of meeting with staff to brief them on the current position in relation to transfer of the water function.
“The primary concern for staff is security of employment and the council has clarified the position in relation to its contractual obligations to employees, including a commitment that any proposal to change existing contract terms and conditions can only be implemented following agreement with staff and their unions,” Mr. Peoples said.
“We have seen over a third of our staff let go,” Sinn Féin Cllr. Mick Quinn said. “It is incumbent on us that we work with the executive to ensure the staff is a priority in this case.” He commended Cllr. Canning for his motion and said that he and his party also believed that money set aside for domestic metering would be better used to upgrade the water pipe network.