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Irish Water workers want their bonuses back

Staff at the semi-state body were told this afternoon that the bonus system is being scrapped for this year.

Image: dripping tap image via Shutterstock.com

Updated at 11pm.

SIPTU has hit out at changes to the way salaries are paid at Irish Water — saying today’s snap announcement to scrap bonuses was unfair.

Staff at the semi-state were told earlier that they will not be paid any bonuses for this year or last year and that a review of the entire salary structure will be conducted.

Employees were given the news at a meeting in Dublin this afternoon.

A spokesperson said today the move reflected the fact that at the end of 2014, Irish Water has “not yet earned sufficient public confidence”.

We made this decision in the best interests of Irish Water and the wider Ervia group to show we are listening to the public.

However, in a statement this evening, SIPTU said its members would not accept any unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment.

The union, which represents around 100 of the 400 directly-employed workers in Irish Water, is arranging a meeting with management tomorrow in Portlaoise.

Representatives of other unions are also set to attend.

“This system was introduced in 2012 in Bord Gáis and reluctantly accepted by union members,” organiser Adrian Kane said.

“The new collective agreement resulted in a reduction of €34 million in labour costs to the company.

“The majority of SIPTU members transferred from Bord Gáis to Irish Water on the basis that they would receive payments in line with that agreement.

“SIPTU would much prefer a return to the original pay system that operated in Bord Gáis before 2012.

The union will not accept that our modestly paid members should have their terms of employment cancelled without agreement.

The statement ends with the following…

“SIPTU does not defend the bonus culture for high earners but if this decision is not reversed employees, who typically earn between €25,000 and €45,000, stand to lose a significant portion of their earnings.

These workers have not had a pay increase since 2008 and a pay freeze remains in place until December 2015.

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