Belfast City Councillors and Greenwich Leisure Limited misleading public about health & safety breaches at leisure facilities

img_0227Members of the public told by a councillor that union concerns over failure to chlorinate pools are baseless

Management company GLL misinforms members of the public that allegations are being made by disgruntled former employee

September 13th: Michael Keenan, Regional Officer for Unite, challenged Greenwich Leisure Limited and Belfast City councillors over attempts to dismiss concerns about health and safety raised by members of the public.

“Two days ago, Unite made public the fact that the swimming pool in Ballysillan hadn’t been chlorinated since Saturday and that when concerned staff raised the matter and attempted to cordon off the pool – management intervened to remove the cordon and then proceeded to manually add chlorine to the water without closing off access to the public. Staff concerns were that with the cloudiness of the water poolside it was impossible to see the bottom meaning that they couldn’t do their job properly, and there were concerns for public health as a result of the repulsive smell building up at the pool. Continue reading

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Staff health & safety concerns at Ballysillan swimming pool ignored by outsourced management company Greenwich Leisure Limited

img_0227Failure to properly chlorinate pool since Saturday leaves pool attendants unable to see bottom of pool and ‘fishy’ odour

Cost-cutting decision to scrap ‘plant operator’ positions at all leisure centres leaves GLL managers manually rechlorinating pools

September 11th: Michael Keenan, Regional Officer for Unite, blasted Belfast City Council’s decision to outsource management of its leisure centres to a management company, Greenwich Leisure Limited, for a series of health and safety breaches most recently that today at the swimming pool in Ballysillan leisure centre.

“Unite has repeatedly warned about the consequences of outsourcing management of leisure facilities by Belfast City Council. The situation today in Ballysillan is only the latest in a long line of concerning incidents.

“As part of the cost-savings that Greenwich Leisure Limited have been asked to deliver by Belfast City council, bosses have done away with the role of plant operator – there used to be one in every leisure centre. These people received formal and extended training to perform the task of safely managing plant and equipment including that related to water safety. Under the new system, we have the situation where staff who perform other functions, usually at management level, are expected to perform these tasks with only two days training. Continue reading

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Planned strike action at Dale Farm Ltd postponed as union ballots members on improved management pay offer

img_0227Forty-eight hour strike action by maintenance workers was due to start at 6am on Sunday will not now proceed

September 7th: Liam Gallagher, speaking for the union’s membership at Dale Farm, confirmed that an initial forty-eight hour strike planned to commence this weekend had been postponed pending the outcome of a ballot on an improved pay offer.

“Unite has agreed to postpone a planned initial forty-eight hour strike action due to commence across all three factories from 6am Sunday. The decision was taken in conjunction with our stewards in response to improved pay offer made by management in recent pay talks. Our members who performed skilled maintenance work on the sites had demanded a pay increase of 4.4%, in order to maintain the differential with other workers on site”, Mr Gallagher said. Continue reading

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Welcome for HSC Board clarification that 1,800 vacancy figure does not include all Health & Social Care staff groups

img_0227Admission confirms figure supplied by CEO for the Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Board, Valery Watts, to the Northern Ireland Select Committee was inaccurate

Time for a reality check on status of our healthcare system and meaningful negotiations on release of additional funding for wages’ increase

September 6th: Yesterday Valery Watts, the Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board, provided evidence to the Northern Ireland select committee in regard to the problem of unfilled vacancies in the Health Service here. After repeated questioning of the accuracy of this figure by Unite representatives as well as those from other trade unions, the HSC Board has now confirmed that the figure did not include all staff groups.

Unite Lead officer for Health Kevin McAdam welcomed the confirmation and called for action to address the threat posed to patient safety.

“The CEO of the Health and Social Care Board provided a figure of 1,800 to the Northern Ireland Select Committee in Westminster for the total number of vacancies in the NHS in Northern Ireland. Unite was at the forefront of efforts to point out that this figure could be as high as 3,500; today’s belated admission by the Board is welcome and perhaps reflects a recognition of the true scale of the problems we face. Continue reading

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Workforce at Lurgan-based Radius Plastics Ltd to be balloted on strike action

img_0227Formal industrial ballot opens today after bosses refuse to address workforce concerns over pay offer terms

Regional Officer warns of potential for debilitating industrial action at plant in October if management don’t reconsider their position

September 3rd: Sean Smyth, regional officer for Unite the union’s membership at Radius Plastics Ltd, a poly-pipe producer based in Lurgan, Co Armagh, called on management to change course in order to avoid the prospect of damaging industrial action.

“In a recent consultative ballot, our members at Radius Plastics voted with a majority of more than ninety percent to reject terms offered by management in pay talks. While workers were satisfied to accept a five percent increase for a two year deal, that acceptance was contingent on the offer being backdated to the beginning of April. Unfortunately, bosses have rejected this request and stuck rigidly to their own plans to delay the pay increase until the beginning of September. Continue reading

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