MAYOR CONFIDENT THAT WORK TO RULE WILL END
The Mayor of Fermoy, Labour councillor, Noel McCarthy this week moved to distance himself from criticism of the public service unions work to rule. In a statement to The Avondhu he confirmed that he is fully aware why the council staff are taking this action and seems confident that the current work to rule by public service employees will soon come to an end.
“I want to leave no doubt in the public mind as to my position in relation to the council employees currently involved in the present work to rule and I don’t believe that these employees are a public disgrace,” he told The Avondhu.
Cllr McCarthy went on to say that, as the executive of the trade union, IMPACT has recommended acceptance of the Croke Park agreement, he was confident that a resolution can be found between the public service workers and the Government which will end the present industrial unrest.
“In connection with the rescheduling of the town council meeting, the councillors have reached a decision to have the meeting at 1pm on Tuesday next, May 18. While this is not ideal for many of the councillors, we agreed that this time was the best time for the meeting. Many councillors will need to make arrangements to attend the meeting at this time with their employers.
"However, for the future I hope that the industrial action will soon be at an end. The staff are following instructions from their union and as a Labour party councillor and member I understand where they are coming from and the cuts that they have been forced to make,” Cllr McCarthy said.
However, while the next meeting is now rescheduled with the agreement of the councillors and the staff this situation could change if the June meeting (which will see the election of a new town mayor) is affected by the industrial action.
“Our usual meetings start at 6pm, the June meeting will be our AGM and if the industrial action is not over this will cause a problem. This is our biggest meeting of the year and we can’t rush it. All the members must be able to attend so it is going to be very difficult if this industrial action is still ongoing but hopefully we won’t need to cross that bridge,” Cllr McCarthy said.
In Fermoy, however, many people are not happy with the industrial action at the town hall and in other sections of the public service.
“Everyone has the right to strike but this action by the public sector is ridiculous. They are refusing to do certain parts of their jobs and still getting their wages at the end of the week.
“It is wrong that their wages have been cut, but I have lost my job and before that I took a wage cut. If I had told my boss that I was not going to answer the phones or do work I always did I would have been fired,” one unemployed Fermoy resident told The Avondhu.
“Teachers are public servants but they can’t stop teaching for an afternoon, nurses in hospitals are public servants and they can’t decide to stop treating patients but what makes the council staff able to withdraw their services and still get paid? By all means go on strike, that is your right, but you will not get paid and the public servants know this,” Cllr Olive O’Corcoran said.
Thursday 13th May 7:30pm