Short staffing in Cork County Council must be addressed – Buckley
Sinn Féin TD for Cork East Pat Buckley has said that the short staffing in Cork County Council has to be addressed as it has led to serious problems in service delivery and maintenance. He made his comments in response to a decision by SIPTU members in the Council to begin industrial action over the refusal by management to recruit more staff.
Deputy Buckley said:
“The decision by the SIPTU members in the Roads and Drivers section of the council to begin industrial action is completely understandable when you look at the effect short staffing is having on services and maintenance in this section. We cannot continue to seek to save money on wages and through outsourcing when the result is poorer maintenance which will cost far more in the long run.
“The people of Cork County will be all too aware of the annual deterioration of our roads in recent years. This is as a direct result of a failure to adequately staff the Council's road section with full time workers. Over the last year, 205 Gateway intern positions, similar to the notorious JobBridge, were taken on but were not rewarded with a single full time job at the conclusion of their contract.
“Gateway forces unemployed people into effectively unpaid work with very low likelihood of attaining proper employment as can be seen in this case. Gateway interns had done good work but because they received little or no training they were often unable to do certain jobs which were needed; the sheer number taken on shows that the council has been eager to increase staff numbers and recognises the need for a larger workforce but does not want to pay for that work to be done. This is unacceptable.
“I support the members of SIPTU who have made this decision. Workers need to stand strong against this kind of exploitation which does nothing for the unemployed while allowing roads in the county to continue to crumble. The council must engage in genuine combined efforts with the workers to bring on new full time staff so that we can ensure a decent standard of maintenance and protect against major problems in the future.”