Date Released: 18 November 2014
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Adrian Kane, has said that SIPTU members in Irish Water will not accept any unilateral changes to their terms and conditions of employment.
SIPTU, which represents about 100 of the 400 directly employed workers in Irish Water, will meet with the management of Eirvia/Irish Water tomorrow in Portlaoise along with representatives of other unions in the company.
Adrian Kane said that the payment system in operation in Irish Water is a performance-based pay system which is not unusual in the private sector.
“This system was introduced in 2012 in Bord Gáis and reluctantly accepted by union members. The new collective agreement resulted in a reduction of €34 million in labour costs to the company.
“The majority of SIPTU members transferred from Bord Gáis to Irish Water on the basis that they would receive payments in line with that agreement,” he said.
“SIPTU would much prefer a return to the original pay system that operated in Bord Gáis before 2012. The union will not accept that our modestly paid members should have their terms of employment cancelled without agreement.”
SIPTU does not defend the bonus culture for high earners but if this decision is not reversed employees, who typically earn between €25,000 and €45,000, stand to lose a significant portion of their earnings. These workers have not had a pay increase since 2008 and a pay freeze remains in place until December 2015.