Framework paves the way for voluntary transfer of Local Authority water services staff to Irish Water
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has welcomed a new framework for the future of water services in Carlow and across Ireland developed through an engagement process facilitated by the Workplace Relations Commission.
The Framework will enable the delivery of the Government’s ambition for a world class public water system, as set out in the Policy Paper on Water Sector Transformation (February 2021).
It will help to ensure a stable operational environment is maintained as the water sector completes the transition to a national water services authority, based on the full integration of public water services within Irish Water.
To facilitate the transition to a national water services authority, the Framework provides for:
Marking a key milestone on the Government’s drive to create a world-class water services authority, Minister O’Brien said:
“The sustainable development of our public water services in Ireland now requires their full integration within Irish Water as the national water services authority.
“Only a national authority, backed by strong Government investment in water infrastructure, will deliver the standard of water and wastewater networks and environmental management systems required by Irish citizens and consumers in the 21st century.
“By combining unprecedented public investment with much needed institutional reform, this Government is determined to ensure that a world class water services authority will soon be a reality.”
The Framework was developed through an engagement process facilitated, at the invitation of the Minister, by the Workplace Relations Commission.
The engagement involved the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, Irish Water, the County and City Management Association, the Local Government Management Agency, and union representatives.
From the outset the engagement process sought to accommodate the concerns of key stakeholders as follows:-
“I am encouraged by the partnership and collaboration shown by all parties to the engagement process. We now have a suitable framework in place to facilitate the enormous transformations that are needed in our water sector and in our local government system in the next few years.
“The Government will continue to work closely with all parties to ensure that the Framework is implemented in a fair and balanced manner that respects the key concerns of all parties, not least the workers.
“I will continue to work with the County and City Management Association to ensure that local authorities are not left with un-supported financial liabilities as a result of the transformation programme.
“We now have the opportunity to move forward with the integration of our public water services within Irish Water’s organisation structure so that we have a single organisation that is tasked with developing, and fully equipped to deliver, a world class public water system of which Ireland and its citizens can be justifiably proud.”
A copy of the framework can be accessed here
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