herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Council staff lose long-held banking hour

Around 4,000 members of Impact and Siptu at Dublin City Council will have to work longer each week after losing their "banking hour".

The announcement follows the Labour Court recommending the abolition of the concession "as there is no longer any justification for it to continue".

beggars

Mark Fielding, the chief executive of small firms body ISME, said yesterday that in the age of electronic funds transfer (EFT), ATMs, smart cards, payments by phone and credit cards, workers having a banking hour off work "beggars belief and is ridiculous".

Siptu and Impact argued that workers do not accept that bank time can be unilaterally withdrawn.

They said the banking hour was introduced at a time when salary payments were to be made by EFT and had become an established condition of employment.

The unions said it should be retained as it was introduced as part of the negotiations around the Paypath or EFT.

In response, city council management contended "that the continuation of banking time is inappropriate given the extended opening hours of banks and the wider availability of banking services".

They further contended that "it has been discontinued in many other public sector employments without the payment of compensation".

disruption

The national secretary of Impact's local government division, Peter Nolan, said members were still coming to terms with the change.

"Employers got the hour back without any dispute or disruption," he said.

"This demonstrates the benefit of the Labour Court having the final say on these issues."

hnews@herald.ie

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