Urgent Call to All Trade Union Members to Protest at Next Monday's Council Meeting From All four Recognised Trade Unions; NIPSA, SIPTU, Unite and GMB

Since the historic all Trade Union members' meeting held in Newry on 8 August, the Trade Unions have made every effort to set up an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, providing at least three separate dates for the Council to choose from. Unfortunately, the Chief Executive maintained his position of refusing to meet with the Joint Trade Union Side local representatives unless it was a full Forum meeting and he has asked the Labour Relations Agency to Chair this Local Consultative and Negotiating Forum meeting scheduled to take place on Monday morning, 3 September. Your Trade Union representatives' position remains unchanged. There is one dominating subject which requires urgent resolution - the ongoing Industrial Relations dispute and the unacceptable treatment of staff as discussed at our all members' meeting.

Trade Union officials offered to clear their dairies and come off annual leave to attend an urgent meeting.  However, the Council has set aside only two hours on Monday to meet with us. Any developments will be communicated to members as soon as possible.

At the all member meeting on 8 August, all those attending mandated your Trade Union representatives to undertake a number of other actions. Below is a brief update on each action:

All 4 unions have prepared a Joint Trade Union consultative ballot which will provide us with an indication of the continued strength of feeling of members and inform future escalation discussions if required. The ballot has commenced today and will close at 2pm on 12 September 2018 so please ensure that you return your ballot paper to your Trade Union in good time to the address provided on the pre-paid envelope. If you are a Trade Union member of NIPSA, SIPTU, Unite or GMB and do not receive a ballot paper next week, please contact your trade union urgently.
As a result of the Joint Trade Union Side writing to all Councillors, a number of meetings have been arranged with political parties next week to provide further details of the matters in dispute and seek their assistance in resolving them.

Due to the lack of progress to date on the part of the Council to resolve our serious concerns, the unions are calling on all trade union members to protest at the full Council meeting next Monday 3 September, from 5.30pm at the Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick as mandated by our members. It is time to show this Council that our members matter and that we stand firmly together to ensure your voices are heard both now and in the future!

We look forward to seeing you at the protest on Monday afternoon.

On Behalf of the Joint Trade Union Side