Fórsa has criticised the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s latest update on matters involving Irish Water.
Officials from the department spoke to a union delegation last week (October 2nd) about a constitutional referendum to keep water services under public control.
Also on the agenda was the status and governance of the new water entity, and proposals to protect the future of local authority services in the event that the service level agreement (SLA) with Irish Water is terminated.
However, while expectations were high initially, Head of Division Peter Nolan said officials failed to provide sufficient detail to allay the fears of 3,000 workers who the employers want to transfer to Irish Water before 2021, four years before the expiry of existing SLAs between Irish Water and local councils.
Peter added: “No substantial proposals were presented by the department in relation to the problems that will be caused to local authorities if the SLAs are terminated in 2021, and while department officials reiterated that they were working towards a referendum for the first half of 2020, they provided no wording on a proposed constitutional referendum.
“Fórsa members want to ensure they’re protected by the terms of the public service agreements. All the unions affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions are committed to continuing their engagement but we don’t believe the department has done anything to convince our members that the proposals are in their best interests,” he said.
The outcome of the meeting will be considered by the executives of the Municipal Employees’ and Local Government and Local Services Divisions.