Councils face psychometric test
by Bernard Harbor
Fórsa's Local Government divisional executive will decide next steps next week after local authority staff backed industrial action over management’s use of online psychometric tests without prior agreement. A ballot of members in the division resulted in a 74%-26% endorsement of action.
Announcing the ballot last month, Fórsa national secretary Peter Nolan said he did not envisage a withdrawal of labour as the first course of action.
He said there was evidence that testing had taken place in competitions for senior positions in all local authorities, while Galway, Roscommon, Cavan and Monaghan councils had used the tests for grade III, IV and V-level vacancies. This despite the fact that national management had agreed to consider developing a joint union-management protocol on online testing.
“We have stark evidence that the tests have disadvantaged serving staff, and we have concerns about facilities for people with disabilities and workers who want to conduct tests in Irish, particularly in local authorities which serve Gaeltacht areas,” he said.
The union’s local government division executive had strongly recommended that members back industrial action unless a satisfactory agreement on the matter is reached.