Precautionary boil water notices in place due to industrial action

Precautionary Boil Water Notices In Place Due To Industrial Action
Precautionary boil water notices for households and businesses are in place in Tipperary and Waterford over the next several days.
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Vivienne Clarke

Tom Cuddy, head of operations with Uisce Eireann has warned there are boil water notices today and tomorrow across 12 local authorities as a precaution because of industrial action.

Precautionary boil water notices for households and businesses are in place in Tipperary and Waterford over the next several days. Other areas where there could be disruption include Cork City and County, Kerry, Fingal, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Louth, Carlow, Galway City and Wexford.


“There is the potential for significant disruption to householders, businesses and water users generally across the 12 local authorities, and those impacts could be across the network and across the quality of water,” Mr Cuddy told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

This was a very serious matter and p had established an incident management team working closely with management in the 12 local authorities to manage any disruptions to the water and wastewater system. However, there may be water supply interruptions and other water or wastewater issues, he said.

“These will be advised through local media and on our website and social media channels. And we are in contact already with large customers and will follow up with customers in the areas which are already being identified. And that will include, for example, hospitals and care homes. And we are providing them with support and advice.”

Mr Cuddy said he hoped a resolution could be reached with the trade union so that no further action would be necessary.
Tom Fitzgerald, regional coordinating officer with the Unite trade union, explained that strike action had been taken because the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), which is the body charged with engaging with trade unions on behalf of local authorities, had refused to meet members of Unite.


This was not an acceptable position for one state agency to say that they would not engage with a trade union, he said.

Unite is seeking a commitment that water staff transferring from local authorities to Uisce Éireann will retain their public service status.

“Our members democratically rejected a framework for future delivery of water services.” The trade union wants to sit down and discuss the difference in approach to standard operating procedures and industrial action.

“Our members don't engage in this action lightly. No one wants to be on strike. It’s a very difficult place to be. And remember, our people who are on strike today live in those areas where the notices are going out. So this impacts upon their family, their communities. So it's not something they want to do. “

Mr Fitzgerald said that in situations such as emergencies his members would leave the picket line to make sure any essential work was done.

The situation was not tenable. The union was available and was ready to sit down for talks.

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