Fórsa has said Dáil staff are exhausted from being overworked, and the union has accused Oireachtas management of breaching Irish and European laws limiting working time during the pandemic.
In a letter to Dáil authorities the head of Fórsa’s Civil Service Division, Derek Mullen, said members were exhausted and at their wits’ end with the current schedule.
He said the “relentless extension” of meetings was having an adverse effect on health, safety and welfare, and was making it impossible for staff to maintain any form of family life due to the unpredictable and unsocial aspects of their work.
“This is unacceptable and the political side should know better. The current schedule and repeated extension of business at very short notice is putting an enormous strain on everybody. It would be difficult in the best of times and is beyond acceptable during this ongoing pandemic," said Derek.
He added that the lack of predictability around the Oireachtas work schedule added to personal and domestic challenges.
"It is unacceptable that members of the legislature would, on an ongoing basis, display such scant regard for such basic principles as the legislative entitlement to daily rest and weekly rest as provided under the European Working Time Directive and Organisation of Working Time Act," he said.
Fórsa has demanded that urgent action be taken immediately to resolve the issue and provide clarity around the work schedules of Dáil staff.
Recent media reports detail the demanding schedule for staff there, with voting in the Dáil not wrapping up one night last week until after 12.30am, and debates set to be continued the next morning at 8.30am.
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