Newry.ie

A vote of no confidence in Newry, Mourne and Down Council, CEO, Liam Hannaway was passed at a trade union meeting of Council employees earlier this week. A ballot for potential industrial action has also been called.

The four trade unions recognised by the council,  NIPSA, SIPTU, UNITE and GMB attended an emergency meeting in Ballybot House in the city, citing an "all time low" relationship between staff and management.

A vote of no confidence on the Council's HR (Human Resources) had already been passed on to the Staff Commission concerning restructuring and job matching in the new super-council structure.

Ballybot House where council workers passed a vote of no confidence in Newry, Mourne and Down Council CEO. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Ballybot House where council workers passed a vote of no confidence in Newry, Mourne and Down Council CEO. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Joint Trade Union Secretary Kim Graham (NIPSA), said that 'angered'  union members had called for the no confidence in Liam Hannaway from the floor, with the vast majority of members supporting the action.

"There is a toxic atmosphere amongst the union members and the Management at NMDDC", said Ms Graham.  At a packed meeting it was further decided that a public protest by hundreds of the unions' members take place at the next NMDDC full meeting this September in Downpatrick.

"I have met with the NMDDC Chair, Mark Murnin, and we now plan on lobbying all parties and councillors of NMDDC to listen and understand to what is being put forward by Management.

"We are ready for a long campaign and if necessary we will be ready to put forward legal challenges.  However, if the Council Management is willing to sit down and constructively and genuinely engage with us we will be willing to do so."

"Going forward we ask that all policies are signed off by the 4 joint unions so that all our members, Management and Councillors will know exactly what has been agreed to and what has not", added Ms Graham.

The Council Replies

Newry, Mourne and Down Council issued a statement denying claims that terms and conditions are being eroded and welcoming continued engagement “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council remains committed to protecting and promoting the wellbeing of all of its employees.

Over the past three years we have undertaken and continue to undertake a process of engagement in dialogue with staff and trade union representatives around restructuring. It is our priority that staff terms and conditions are protected.

During this process a number of new policies and procedures were agreed with trade union representatives. There is no evidence to substantiate the claims that terms and conditions are being eroded.

The Chief Executive and Senior Management Team remain committed to further discussions with trade unions and welcomes continued engagement in the interests of all parties."

 

 

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