03/12/2019

Other News In Brief

Fórsa Recommends Local Govt Deal

Fórsa's Local Government Division is recommending acceptance in a ballot on new arrangements for filling admin posts in local authorities.

The proposed new arrangement, which would replace the common recruitment pool, would "significantly improve promotion opportunities", according to the union's head of local government, Peter Nolan.

Proposed by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), the arrangement would see 50% of all promotions between grades IV to VII confined to the local authority sector, 20% confined to the employing local authority, and 30% open to public competition.

This compares to existing arrangements where half grade V vacancies are open to public competition.

All members in these grades, who are eligible to compete for promotion, are able to participate in the ballot. The division's executive committee is strongly recommending that they vote in favour of the WRC proposal.

The union has written to the members concerned. Local Fórsa branches are now conducting ballots, which will be aggregated into a national result and apply to everyone.

Peter Nolan said: "The revised fields of competition will greatly enhance the career development prospects of our members in local government and regional assemblies. This proposal marks the most radical and progressive development for those seeking promotion in over 50 years, and we urge people to support it."

The new procedure would incorporate any existing arrangements for the first filling of new posts. Any existing panels in place for clerical and administrative grades lV to Vll at the date of commencement of these new procedures would also be used until they expire.

This proposal follows an industrial action ballot of Fórsa members after the Local Government Management Agency, which represents employers in the sector, said it intended to scrap the common recruitment pool and see promotions filled by open competition.

Driving Test Complex Opens In Dundalk

A new multipurpose Road Safety Authority complex has opened in Dundalk, Co Louth.

The centre will cater for a variety of RSA functions including driver testing, driver education, vehicle enforcement and emergency service driving standards training.

While providing a wide range of services, the complex also includes a test compound designed to provide access to all driving tests such as car, motorbike and truck driver testing within the facility.

Currently the national wait time for a driving test is just under six weeks so there has never been a better time to apply for your driving test.

Speaking at the official opening, Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the Road Safety Authority, said: "I am delighted and proud to be here today to launch this new, state-of-the-art facility which will cater for a number of functions across the RSA. Part of the remit of the RSA is to provide a public service to road users across Ireland and having such a range of services at a convenient accessible location here in Dundalk is a bonus for the local community and those living in surrounding areas."

Ms Murdock continued: "New facilities like this have helped to lower the time a learner driver has to wait to sit their driving test. What we are seeing now is that customers are getting their test earlier than they expect so my advice to all those applying for their test is to make sure they have completed their essential driver training lessons and to go through the final checklist to see they have everything they need to sit the test."

Renewal Scheme Helps Create New Edenderry Working Space

A new E-hive co-working hub has been developed in Edenderry with support under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD has officially opened the new facility in Edenderry Town Hall.

Offaly County Council identified the need for a co-working space for Edenderry, a rapidly growing town only 35 minutes from the M50, with a large commuting population. The philosophy was to provide a high quality space, enhancing modern supports to enterprise in Edenderry with the potential to foster innovation. This unique approach sees a 27 inch monitor at each desk, meeting room facilities, spacious common areas, hi-speed internet access, private booths for calls, a shared kitchen and bicycle racks.

E-hive aims to offer individuals the opportunity to work from a professional office with flexible options, and so far has been embraced by users such as a software start-up founder, an engineer designing facades, a golf holidays company owner and an auditor from a big four accountancy firm, to mention just a few.

In a recent commuter survey carried out in Edenderry, it was found that while 53% of commuters are "unhappy" or "very unhappy" with having to commute, 42% of commuters have the potential to work at least one day per week from Edenderry. This survey was carried out as part of the Edenderry Masterplan, currently being funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, which aims to regenerate the core of the town. Initial funding of €522k was also recently allocated through the Rural Regeneration and Development fund to commence the regeneration through provision of an infrastructure link to open up the core and back-lands. This regeneration project is anticipated to be transformational for Edenderry, taking in the former Tesco site in the town centre, former grain store site and park-lands.



(JG/CM)

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