Thursday, 8 March 1990
Dáil Éireann Debate
28. Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Defence the reason for the anomaly that is caused by the payment of travelling expenses to civilian employees of his Department, such as labourers and craftsmen in the Dublin area, whereas no such payment is made to similarly qualified employees outside the Dublin area; if he will remove the anomaly by making similar payments to civilian employees throughout the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Lenihan: The arrangements applied by my Department for payment in respect of travel time accord with the arrangements made by the Construction Industry Federation. Those arrangements operate within the catchment area of the Dublin working rule agreement of the CIF. The agreement does not apply throughout the country generally.
Mr. McCartan: While it may be the order of the day in the CIF the Minister has a responsibility to his own employees. Will he admit that there is an anomaly here and act properly in terms of his own Department and personnel?
Mr. Lenihan: There is disagreement with the CIF, but it only applies to the Dublin area of which my Department are a part. Whether we should make it an issue outside that area, unrelated to other workers and employees, is another day's work. This matter concerns the whole delicate matter of negotiations with trade unions and so on. I will have a look at it but my guess is that it would have to be done on a multilateral basis in regard to all employees. It works in the Dublin area where the CIF speak for all employers, the employees co-operate within the trade union structure and we go along with the CIF. If that is not in place outside the Dublin area it would be difficult for my Department to make a unliateral move in that direction. However, I will inquire about the situation.
Mr. Ryan: This matter is a bone of contention among personnel outside Dublin. Will the Minister deal with this anomaly and resolve it once and for all? We do not have to wait for agreements, we can sort out problems within our own areas of responsibility.
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