Water Quality Inspectors balloted on strike action

Voters are going to the polls in Northern Ireland
Voters are going to the polls in Northern Ireland

Water Quality Inspectors employed by Mid and East Antrim Council are to be balloted on strike action over an ‘on call’ payment issue.

But the Council says does not accept that there is a dispute in relation to the Terms and Conditions of Water Quality Inspectors.

“Council is seeking legal advice on the matter and therefore it is inappropriate to comment further at this time,” said a spokesperson.

NIPSA, the Public Service Union, has accused Mid and East Antrim Borough Council of ‘poor treatment’ of iInspectors.

Alan Law, Higher Executive Officer commented: “It’s an absolute scandal that Water Quality Inspectors based at County Hall in Ballymena are expected to provide an on-call pollution response for a derisory 55 pence per hour.

“We are calling on the employer to begin immediate negotiations to prevent Industrial Action. NIPSA has today advised Mid and East Antrim Borough Council that we are commencing the statutory balloting process which will lead to Industrial Action”

Mr Law added: “NIPSA members have indicated to their employer that they are fed up being treated so poorly, the staff affected provide an out of hours response which covers the lower Bann, Ballinderry, Moyola, Six Mile Water, Braid, Maine and Bush rivers. Their work ensures that the impact of pollution within the river system is minimised.

“They deal with a range of contamination which enters the river system from road traffic collisions, silage, slurry, sewage, industrial and domestic oil spills, trade effluents all of which pose serious risk to the water ways and the fish etc which exist within these ecosytems.

“I call on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to immediately address the concerns of our members to avoid Industrial Action.”

A response has been sought from the Council.