Agenda item

Industrial Action by NIPSA

Minutes:

Councillor Harkin Moved, Seconded by Councillor McCann

That    Council views workers’ rights as intrinsic to a democratic and just society. The struggle for workers’ rights unites rather than divides communities. In Derry and Strabane and elsewhere, poverty wages and disrespect for labour are widespread. Public and private sector workers, including civil servants, have had to rely on foodbanks to survive.

 

Derry City and Strabane Council stands in solidarity with civil servant members of NIPSA who have voted to take industrial action on July 26th.

 

Council agrees that the workers concerned should receive an above-inflation pay increase and pay restoration. Council opposes attacks on workers’ terms and conditions. Council supports NIPSA's demand for contract negotiations to be reopened.

 

Council calls for solidarity with the July 26 strike and with whatever further action the workers involved feel it necessary to take to secure their contract demands.

 

Council agrees to write to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance to convey Council's support of these demands.

                       

Councillor Harkin requested a Suspension of Standing Orders to permit a representative of NIPSA to speak to Members on the motion.

 

The Mayor stated that after seeking legal advice on the matter that this could not be permitted at a meeting of Council.

 

Councillor Harkin stated that it was his understanding that Members made the ultimate decisions within the Chamber and that no reference was given as to why a representative from NIPSA was not permitted to speak.  He stated that he hoped Members would support him to allow the representative to inform Members on their proposed strike action.

 

The Mayor referred to section 8.2 and 8.3 of Standing Orders, ‘that public and press may attend in only those parts of the Council Chamber provided for their accommodation at meetings of the Council unless specifically excluded under the provision of Standing Order 9 or as required by the Council to comply with provisions in relation to fire safety or health safety.  The admission of the public upon the understanding that they must continue at all times to be seated and that no expression of opinion or knowledge of any kind be allowed from them.’

 

Councillor Harkin stated that he called for the suspension of the relevant standing order to allow the representative from NIPSA to speak to Members.

 

The Mayor stated that after seeking guidance from the Lead Legal Services Officer, it was her decision on whether or not to permit a suspension of standing orders on the matter.  Therefore, she would not accept the proposal for the Suspension of Standing Orders as she did not wish for a precedent to be set allowing members of the public making presentations at Council meetings.  She stated that the representative from NIPSA could be given the opportunity to speak to the relevant Committee.

 

Councillor Harkin expressed his disappointment on the matter and extended an apology to the members of NIPSA seated in the public gallery.

 

Councillor McKinney Proposed an Amendment to the Motion.

 

The Mayor proposed a short recess to obtain legal advice on the Amendment.

 

After the recess Alderman McClintock agreed that representatives from NIPSA be invited to speak at the relevant Committee and suggested that the motion be deferred until after the presentation.  She then requested legal advice on Council’s position regarding the proposed strike action.

 

In response, the Lead Legal Services Officer advised that there was nothing within Council’s rules or procedures to prevent Council from backing strike action.

 

Councillor McKinney Proposed an Amendment, Seconded by Councillor J Boyle

That               Council views workers’ rights as intrinsic to a democratic and just society. The struggle for workers’ rights unites rather than divides communities. In Derry and Strabane and elsewhere, poverty wages and disrespect for labour are widespread. Public and private sector workers, including civil servants, have had to rely on foodbanks to survive.

 

Derry City and Strabane Council stands in solidarity with civil servant members of NIPSA who have voted to take industrial action on July 26th.

 

Council agrees that the workers concerned should receive an above-inflation pay increase and pay restoration. Council opposes attacks on workers’ terms and conditions. Council supports NIPSA's demand for contract negotiations to be reopened.

 

Council calls for solidarity with the July 26 strike and with whatever further action the workers involved feel it necessary to take to secure their contract demands.

 

Council agrees to write to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance to convey Council's support of these demands.

 

We call for continued engagement to try to resolve the issues in a sustainable and fair way.  We call on Government to act with sympathy for the situation of our employees.  And we call on our political parties to reach effective agreement at Stormont immediately, so that the NI Assembly can legislate on this and other urgent matters without further delay.

 

                        After voting by a show of hands the result was as follows:

 

                        For the Amendment – 21; Against – 11; Abstentions – 0.

 

                        The Amendment was therefore carried.

 

Councillor Gallagher Proposed a further Amendment, Seconded by Councillor Carr.

 

That   Council views workers’ rights as intrinsic to a democratic and just society. The struggle for workers’ rights unites rather than divides communities. In Derry and Strabane and elsewhere, poverty wages and disrespect for labour are widespread. Public and private sector workers, including civil servants, have had to rely on foodbanks to survive.

 

Derry City and Strabane Council stands in solidarity with civil servant members of NIPSA who have voted to take industrial action on July 26th.

 

Council agrees that the workers concerned should receive an above-inflation pay increase and pay restoration. Council opposes attacks on workers’ terms and conditions. Council supports NIPSA's demand for contract negotiations to be reopened.

 

Council calls for solidarity with the July 26 strike and with whatever further action the workers involved feel it necessary to take to secure their contract demands.

 

That this Council addresses the anomaly with the wage structure within this Council since the merger of the two Councils whereby workers doing the same job are paid different rates of pay.  That this Council will engage with unions forthwith.

 

Council agrees to write to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance to convey Council's support of these demands.

 

We call for continued engagement to try to resolve the issues in a sustainable and fair way.  We call on Government to act with sympathy for the situation of our employees.  And we call on our political parties to reach effective agreement at Stormont immediately, so that the NI Assembly can legislate on this and other urgent matters without further delay.

 

 

                        After voting by a show of hands the result was as follows:

 

                        For the Amendment – 27; Against – 5; Abstentions – 0.

 

                        The Amendment was therefore carried.

                       

Councillor Harkin Proposed a further Amendment, Seconded by Councillor McCann

 

Council views workers’ rights as intrinsic to a democratic and just society. The struggle for workers’ rights unites rather than divides communities. In Derry and Strabane and elsewhere, poverty wages and disrespect for labour are widespread. Public and private sector workers, including civil servants, have had to rely on foodbanks to survive.

 

Derry City and Strabane Council stands in solidarity with civil servant members of NIPSA who have voted to take industrial action on July 26th.

 

Council agrees that the workers concerned should receive an above-inflation pay increase and pay restoration. Council opposes attacks on workers’ terms and conditions. Council supports NIPSA's demand for contract negotiations to be reopened.  Council calls for solidarity with the July 26 strike and with whatever further action the workers involved feel it necessary to take to secure their contract demands.

 

That this Council addresses the anomaly with the wage structure within this Council since the merger of the two Councils whereby workers doing the same job are paid different rates of pay.  That this Council will engage with unions forthwith.

 

Council agrees to write to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance to convey Council's support of these demands.

 

We call for continued engagement to try to resolve the issues in a sustainable and fair way.  We call on Government to act with sympathy for the situation of our employees.  And we call on our political parties to reach effective agreement at Stormont immediately, so that the NI Assembly can legislate on this and other urgent matters without further delay.

 

Council notes this dispute can be resolved now by the Department of Finance. Therefore, this resolution is not contingent on the restoration of Stormont. On that basis we encourage workers in their decision to take action now.

 

After voting on the Amendment by a show of hands the result was as follows:

 

For the Amendment – 27; Against – 0; Abstentions – 6.

 

The Amendment was therefore carried and subsequently became the Substantive Motion.

 

After voting on the Substantive Motion by a show of hands the result was as follows:

 

For – 27; Against – 5; Abstentions – 1.

 

The Substantive Motion was therefore carried and the Council

 

Resolved       Council views workers’ rights as intrinsic to a democratic and just society. The struggle for workers’ rights unites rather than divides communities. In Derry and Strabane and elsewhere, poverty wages and disrespect for labour are widespread. Public and private sector workers, including civil servants, have had to rely on foodbanks to survive.

 

Derry City and Strabane Council stands in solidarity with civil servant members of NIPSA who have voted to take industrial action on July 26th.

 

Council agrees that the workers concerned should receive an above-inflation pay increase and pay restoration. Council opposes attacks on workers’ terms and conditions. Council supports NIPSA's demand for contract negotiations to be reopened.  Council calls for solidarity with the July 26 strike and with whatever further action the workers involved feel it necessary to take to secure their contract demands.

 

That this Council addresses the anomaly with the wage structure within this Council since the merger of the two Councils whereby workers doing the same job are paid different rates of pay.  That this Council will engage with unions forthwith.

 

Council agrees to write to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance to convey Council's support of these demands.

 

We call for continued engagement to try to resolve the issues in a sustainable and fair way.  We call on Government to act with sympathy for the situation of our employees.  And we call on our political parties to reach effective agreement at Stormont immediately, so that the NI Assembly can legislate on this and other urgent matters without further delay.

 

Council notes this dispute can be resolved now by the Department of Finance. Therefore, this resolution is not contingent on the restoration of Stormont. On that basis we encourage workers in their decision to take action now.