It was widely reported toward the end of last week that issues at two water treatment plants last month led to unsafe water entering into the public drinking water supply and causing a danger to public health. The reaction of Housing and Local Government minister Darragh O’Brien has been to say he wants Irish Water to have strengthened control over all water service plants in the immediate term, pending the implementation of "agreed longer-term operational and staffing arrangements" surrounding water services.
Martin Wall's coverage in the Irish Times highlights union concerns about the potential move of staff from water services in local authorities to Irish Water, and quotes both Fórsa and SIPTU. Fórsa has said it will not recommend or support any outcome that would involve the coerced transfer of local authority staff to the water services utility, a position already recognised by the employers.
While Fórsa was aware of the correspondence, it hadn't been organised or endorsed by the union. The union has expressed its concern at the lack of manpower planning in the IAA, and Fórsa has made repeated representations to IAA management about its over-dependence on overtime and on-call arrangements, and on the need to train and employ significant additional numbers of air traffic controllers and related staff. The IAA responded with this statement yesterday, which was picked up by The Irish Times.