Fórsa is awaiting a formal response by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) on a job evaluation scheme for the sector, as the deadline of October indicated to the WRC approaches.
The LGMA, which represents council employers, had confirmed to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) that they would by the end of this month produce the job descriptions and furnish a written response to the union’s business case.
Fórsa wants a local authority job evaluation scheme similar to the one that operates in the HSE and the education sector.
Job evaluation is an established tool that allows the knowledge, skills and responsibilities associated with individual jobs – rather than grades or staff categories – to be assessed and appropriately rewarded.
The long-awaited return to due process on job evaluation in the sector recommenced under the auspices of the WRC on the 8th July 2022.
Fórsa has maintained that almost 10,000 council jobs were lost following the financial crisis, and services had only been maintained because staff had taken on additional responsibilities above their pay grades.
Head of the union’s Local Government division, Richy Carrothers, said that the current pay system in local government “lacked equality, consistency and fairness.”
“Local authorities suffered the greatest reduction of numbers of employees during the austerity era, which has resulted in significant grade drift in the sector. Why should these workers suffer less favourable treatment than colleagues in other sectors,” he said.
Fórsa says there are severe disparities in pay rates across the local government sector, where staff doing the same work could be paid more or less depending on which of the 31 councils they work for.
“It is completely unacceptable that clerical and administration, library staff, museum curators, archivists, technicians and so many more, are being paid different pay rates in different counties. That is undermining the similar level of work and effort that’s put in by people in these grades, just based on what council they work for,” Richy said.
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