Workers at eleven Belfast City Council leisure centres balloted on strike action

unite-white-out-of-redIndustrial action ballot opens today (Wednesday April 20th) and will remain open for two weeks

Union highlights Greenwich Leisure Ltd’s (GLL) broken commitments on pensions guarantee and wider health and safety concerns

April 20th: Davy Edmont, Unite officer for workers at Belfast City Council’s eleven Leisure Centres has confirmed his union will be opening a ballot on strike action today (Wednesday 20th April):

“Despite our opposition to outsourcing, Unite has attempted to work constructively with Belfast City Council in its decision to contract-out management of its eleven Leisure Centres to GLL.

“Our members, who represent the majority of workers in these centres, were guaranteed that their pay and pensions would not be affected by the TUPE transfer. We also received guarantees from GLL that they would extend the same rights to any new staff taken on.

“Despite these assurances, GLL initially sought to deny casual workers access to even a basic private sector pension, let alone the NILGOSC pension agreed between all parties.

“The original agreement was for full NILGOSC pension contributions for all workers to be underwritten by Belfast City Council. The approach of GLL represents a fundamental breach of that agreement.

“Our members have expressed wider concerns over GLL’s approach to managing these facilities. They are seeking clarity on progress in delivering two million pounds of efficiency savings – a necessary precondition to draw down £130 million in capital investment from Belfast City Council. Unite has also heard that untrained lifeguards are being employed at some swimming pools and our members have particular concerns about the adequacy of staff cover in case of an emergency evacuation.

“Unite is balloting our approximately 130 members on strike action over these issues. The ballot opens today (Wednesday, April 20th) and will close in two weeks’ time; potential strike action would be across all eleven GLL managed leisure centres in Belfast”, Mr Edmont concluded.

Notes to editors: The eleven Leisure Centres affected are Andersonstown, Avoniel, Ballysillan, Belvoir, Falls Rd, Grove Well-being, Loughside, Olympia, Ozone, Shankill Road, Whiterock.

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