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Minister must reign in his officials and talk to union - Ó Clochartaigh

15 January, 2014

Speaking after meeting with representatives from IMPACT trade union this afternoon, Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh called on the Minister for Agriculture to meet with the union as a matter of urgency to avert industrial action.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“It is not acceptable for the Minister to shirk his responsibility on this matter. Six hundred agricultural officers in the Department have genuine concerns over their job security and thus far the Department have refused to meet with their union.

“The dispute centres on the decision by the Department to refuse IMPACT members the opportunity to apply for assistant principal posts, in defiance of a new civil service wide policy that allows all qualified staff to apply for posts.

“The workers now fear that this ban by management at the Department could seriously jeopardise their future job security.

“IMPACT was at pains to stress the dispute is not about money, rather they believe it is part of a long line of actions by the Department that put the agricultural officers’ jobs at risk.

Sinn Féin calls on the Minister to take charge of the officials at his Department and to immediately meet with IMPACT and resolve this unacceptable situation.”

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