Fórsa will outline concerns over plans to establish a single water utility at a meeting of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) on 5th July. The meeting comes on the heels of a verbal submission by Fórsa and other unions at an Oireachtas committee inquiry into the future of public water services last week, where Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) representatives outlined their concerns over Ervia proposals to establish a single public service utility by 2021.
Fórsa told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government that service level agreements (SLAs) between Irish Water and local authorities should continue, and that local authority staff should not be forced to transfer to a new entity.
Unions were recently reassured that current SLAs will remain in place until an alternative is agreed. The Government announced its intention to create a single water utility by 2021 last year, four years before their expiry.
Fórsa is also seeking clarification on plans for a referendum on the ownership of the public water system. This follows a commitment from housing minister Eoghan Murphy that he would facilitate the holding of a referendum.
Speaking before the Joint Oireachtas Committee, ICTU official Liam Berney said there was no longer any reason to delay holding a referendum on the ownership of the public water system. “A referendum could be facilitated in this calendar year,” he said.
The minister had previously ruled out a referendum on the ownership of the public water system until the referendum on the eighth amendment had taken place.