SIPTU members working in the Housing Department of South Dublin County Council have staged a one-day work stoppage today (Wednesday, 4th August) to highlight the failure of management to honour agreements on staffing levels. As part of the industrial action the workers placed pickets outside County Hall, Belgard Square North, Tallaght and the Jobstown Housing Maintenance Depot in Tallaght. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “Our members are calling on management to commit to honouring existing agreed staffing levels and to commence discussions on insourcing of work previously carried out through direct labour that has been outsourced to third party companies. “The failure of management to give commitments through the normal industrial relations mechanisms to honour agreements concerning staffing and the direct employment of workers led to the decision to mount industrial action by our members. A series of planned work stoppages and other industrial action will be undertaken over the coming days and weeks if management continues to refuse to constructively engage with SIPTU representatives on the outstanding issues. “Our members have consistently called for the proper resourcing of the Housing Department in South Dublin County Council to assist with addressing the housing crisis in the local authority area.“Unfortunately, to date, those calls have fallen on deaf ears. Instead, the Council has persisted with failing to fill vacancies, as well as continuing to use contractors to carry out work previously performed by directly employed labour. This has often resulted in poor quality work, which our members have frequently had to subsequently repair.” He added: “South Dublin County Council, along with other local authorities have failed to restore employment levels to those prior to the recruitment moratorium imposed following the economic crisis of more than a decade ago. Currently the numbers employed by South Dublin County Council remain 17% below the levels prior to the recruitment moratorium. This stands in stark contrast to other parts of the public service, which have restored their staffing levels and correspondingly the level of services provided to the public. “SIPTU members working in outdoor services across all departments of South Dublin County Council will be balloted for industrial action in the coming days. This will allow for the possible escalation of our industrial action if management fail to constructively engage with union representatives.”