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GoSafe speed camera workers announce 72-hour strike over bank holiday weekend

The work stoppage centres around a dispute over working conditions and union recognition.

Image: Mark Stedman via RollingNews.ie

MEMBERS OF THE trade union Siptu working for the national speed camera van operator GoSafe have announced a 72-hour work stoppage over the bank holiday weekend.

The work stoppage, centring around a dispute over working conditions and union recognition, will begin at 9am on Saturday, 26 October.

The members have also commenced additional industrial action today.

This action comes after a one-day stoppage on 28 September. 

“Our members have been left with no option other than to escalate this dispute with a 72-hour work stoppage and by implementing industrial action in the form of refusing to operate the Telogis tracking system which monitors their work activity,” Siptu organiser Brendan Carr said. 

Our members are only taking this action as a last resort because of the intransigence of management which has refused to address their concerns relating to health and safety and their conditions of employment. 

Siptu claims the workers have tried to address the issues through State industrial relations mechanisms. 

GoSafe operates speed camera vans under a contract with the Department of Justice and An Garda Síochána. 

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has called on Minister of Justice Charlie Flanagan to ensure speed cameras are in place this bank holiday weekend. 

“We know that excessive speed is involved in many cases of road traffic death or injury. While some people might joke about the speed cameras being out of operation, the sad truth is that over a thousand people have died on our roads in the last six years, and tens of thousands have been injured,” Howlin said. 

“Road deaths have decreased due to safety measures being put into place, including speed cameras and enforcement of penalties. It is the duty of the Minister for Justice to ensure that speed cameras are in operation this weekend,” he said. 

An Garda Síochána said it “does not comment on industrial relation matters between a contractor and its employees”. 

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, the Department of Justice said Flanagan is “anxious that Irish roads are as safe as possible for all road users”. 

“Effective road traffic enforcement is critical to achieve that goal,” the statement said. 

The Department noted that the contract for the safety camera service was awarded to Road Safety Operations Ireland, trading as GoSafe, following a public procurement competition.

“The contract is between the Minister for Justice and Equality, the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána and GoSafe trading as Road Safety Operations Ireland,” it said.

The Minister is unable to intervene in a dispute between the contracted service provider and its employees and members of Siptu.

“The safety camera network makes a significant contribution to road safety by directly influencing and promoting responsible driver behaviour and the Minister urges all those concerned to seek a positive resolution to this dispute through the appropriate channels,” the Department said. 

Under the terms of the contract, GoSafe is required to provide an annual minimum of 90,000 hours of monitoring and surveying vehicle speed across 1,031 designated safety camera zones, according to the Department.

This equates to a minimum of 7,400 monitoring hours and 100 survey hours a month.

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