Fórsa trade union members in Roscommon County Council are set to mount a one-day strike on Thursday, 21st of June over what they perceive to be council management’s “refusal to halt its effective ban on flexi-leave” in the County Council. The proposed action will impact on all council services.
This is the latest development in a long-running dispute over flexi-leave, which allows workers to build up extra leave days by working up hours over a period of time.
The union has also threatened one-day strikes each Tuesday and Thursday after June 21st and it has said that action will escalate “if management moves to victimise or discipline staff for taking part in industrial action”.
Fórsa claims it’s now 12 months since any Roscommon council worker was approved for flexi-leave and that some form of flexible working arrangement is in place in every other local authority in Ireland.
Union official Padraig Mulligan said there had been two binding Labour Court recommendations on the issue.
“We have attended seven Workplace Relations Commission hearings. We really have explored every avenue to avoid industrial action,” he said.
Over the past year, the matter has been brought before the Workplace Relations Commission at the Labour Court and recommendations have been issued.
Mr. Mulligan accused council management of attacking working parents.
“No other local authority in Ireland has attacked working parents – and particularly working mothers – in this way. It is unprecedented within the public service, and it hits lower-paid women hardest as many of them depend on the flexi scheme to balance work and caring responsibilities,” he said.
Roscommon County Council officials were contacted for comment but none was forthcoming at the time of going to press.