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    Council employees to lose one-hour banking breaks

    Posted on April 26, 2015 by administrator

    Thousands of workers in Dublin City Council are due to lose one of the last of their special perks next week. No longer with clerks, administrators, drivers, engineers, rent collectors and managers be allowed an extra one hour time-off to go to the bank.

    In an era of ATM lodgement and withdrawal machines in corner shops, on-line banking by mobile phone and iPad, the excuse that it takes an hour to check their account or make a transaction no longer seems justified.

    The days of “I’m just nipping out to the bank” to cover an hour’s paid break are coming to an end.

    Three years ago council staff lost their special day’s leave to celebrate the King’s Birthday and for Empire Day even though Ireland had gained independence from the United Kingdom 90 years earlier. Likewise council staff around the country lost their local privilege days to attend race meetings or music festivals.

    The practice of having a ‘banking hour’ for staff at Dublin City Council (DCC) is to end in May, as the Labour Court has found there is “no longer justification” for it to continue.

    This banking -time was given to DCC staff, who are members of SIPTU and IMPACT unions, to allow them to use banking facilities.

    However, the Council has said that such a practice is now unnecessary and inappropriate “given the wide range of available banking service to clients.”

    SIPTU & IMPACT stated at a recent Labour Court hearing that the banking -hour was brought in when salary payments were to be made by Paypath/electronic funds transfer, The claimed that the hour had “become an established condition of employment.”

    The City Council argued that the banking time practice has been dropped across most of the public service and without any compensation for its withdrawal.

    The Labour Court noted that it was not unreasonable for the council to seek the removal of the banking-hour in light of the “significant and material changes in banking services and practices since bank-time was first introduced.”

    As its original intent was for the hour to be taken during working -time, “its elimination could not be fairly characterised as involving an extension of the working week for those affected by the proposal”, said the Labour Court’s chairman, Kevin Duffy.