NMD Council Comments On Strike Action

Council Statement Regarding Strike Action on Thursday 3 December 2020.

Council Statement Regarding Strike Action on Thursday 3 December 2020.

A spokesperson for Newry Mourne and Down District Council’s Senior Management Team said Council had recently met with the four recognised Trade Unions on Wednesday 25 November 2020 and again on Monday 30 November 2020, conciliated by the Labour Relations Agency (LRA).

“This conciliation with the LRA follows a long period of negotiations on terms and conditions with local trade union representatives who had been on full time release for a considerable period to enable the negotiations to be progressed. The first package of terms and conditions was agreed between both sides during the negotiations in March of this year.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council

“At these meetings, the Council’s management presented proposals to the Joint Trade Union Side (JTUS) which would mean all refuse collection employees within the Council being employed on the same pay grades.

“Under the proposals, refuse workers in the former Down District Council area would increase to pay scales matching those in the former Newry and Mourne District Council area. Acceptance of these proposals could see wages for refuse workers in Downpatrick increasing from 1 December 2020.

“The Council’s management also agreed to negotiate on additional payments to refuse employees in both Newry and Downpatrick for implementation of new Refuse Operating Procedures and associated practices, which would standardise working practices across the entire district.  Pending negotiated agreement, existing practices and associated payments will remain unchanged.

“Whilst there has been some acceptance of the Council’s management offers, regrettably on Monday 30th November, the JTUS advised it was unwilling to suspend strike action on Thursday 3 December 2020.

“Newry Mourne and Down District Council is disappointed that the JTUS is continuing with plans for strike action in light of the pay proposals put forward together with management side’s acceptance of the five other requests of the JTUS. However, the Council respects the JTUS right to take industrial action.

“A meeting of the Council’s Strategy Policy and Resources Committee on 1 December 2020 agreed in principle for ratification at full Council, the proposal put forward by Senior Management.  The pay proposals once ratified by Council will be effective from 1 December 2020.  

“Newry Mourne and Down District Council remains fully committed to resolving this dispute, to ensuring fair pay, transparency and equality for all its employees and to delivering value for money for all rate payers in the Council area, especially at a time when many are experiencing significant financial hardship.

“The Council will continue to work with the LRA and to engage in dialogue with the Trade Unions to find a workable solution as quickly as possible, added the spokesperson.