First day of strike action at eleven Belfast City Council leisure centres set for Tuesday May 24th

unite-white-out-of-redDecision follows ballot in which 97% of Unite members voted for strike action over Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) failure to deliver on pensions guarantee and staffing concerns

Staff commence action with ‘work-to-rule’ and overtime ban at Andersonstown, Whiterock, Falls Rd, Olympia, Ballysillan, Avoneill, Grove Well-being, Loughside, Ozone, Belvoir, Shankill Road.

May 12th: Davy Edmont, Unite officer for workers at Belfast City Council’s eleven Leisure Centres has confirmed his union has written to the employer notifying them of strike action:

“Despite our opposition and concerns in regard to the decision by Belfast City Council to outsource the management of its eleven leisure facilities, Unite attempted to work collaboratively to secure the terms and conditions of our members and to safeguard the quality of the service offered to the public.

“Our members, who represent the overwhelming majority of staff working 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 denied casual workers access to even a basic private sector pension, let alone automatic enrolment in the NILGOSC pension which was agreed between all parties.

“The original agreement was for full NILGOSC pension contributions for all workers to be underwritten by Belfast City Council. GLL has failed to abide by the terms of that agreement.

“Our members have expressed wider concerns over GLL’s approach to managing these facilities. We are aware that untrained lifeguards are being employed at some swimming pools and have particular concerns about the adequacy of staff cover in case of an emergency evacuation.

“Following the overwhelming endorsement of strike action by our members – 97% of returns – we have notified management that workers will adopt a work-to-rule and overtime ban with the first twenty-four hour stoppage set for Tuesday May 24th.

“We are asking for both GLL and Belfast City Council to stand over their commitments to the workforce in order to avert unnecessary disruption at these municipal facilities”, Mr Edmont concluded.

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