Mr Nolan said the union strongly opposed the creation of Irish Water in 2010. Mr. Forsa is “not in favour of water privatization.” By 2021, four years before the expiry of a current agreement between Irish Water and the boards, the government intends to transfer corresponding employees from councils to public services. Although current legislation protects the salaries, pensions and conditions of local authority staff when they move to Irish Water, some local authority staff are expected to choose to work everywhere except the water service to avoid the risk of being relocated to the public service. 532. Vice-President Jackie Cahill questioned the Minister of Housing, Planning and Local Government on his plans to redeploy staff working in the water services field of a local authority, after Irish Water assumed full responsibility for the provision and management of all matters related to the provision of domestic and commercial water; other plans to redeploy some public sector employees to Irish Water; The estimated impact this will have on the conditions of employment of each officer; and whether he will make a statement on that. [38617/18] Local authorities are having difficulty recruiting and retaining staff in their water services department due to concerns that employees will be transferred to the half-state of Irish Water and lose their status in the public service. Buckley said further delays in clarifying the future water service delivery structure could exacerbate this situation and thus increase the risks to water supply and safety in the medium term. He said the union`s “great struggle” would likely focus on “maintaining the future of local communities if they take away 25 to 30 per cent of their funding flow,” which comes from water payments. Nolan said the agreement to start discussions with the government on its plans to transform Irish water was assured that there would be “no mandatory military service of community workers to a single water unit.” The Forsa Local Government Conference supported calls for the defence of the conditions of members who currently provide water services in local authorities and a referendum to ensure that the water supply remains public property. The RMC notes that public policy issues are not within its jurisdiction, but states that work on legislation or a possible referendum on the protection of the public water system in the public domain is not yet complete. Irish Water informed the RMC that it was committed to implementing national public water management with a “basic operating model” supported by a competent and efficient supply chain for specialized services and the provision of its capital program.
In his assessment, RMC Director Genral Oonagh Buckley said it was clear that the ALS system had brought many benefits, including the effective transition of the water supply to Irish Water, and that it was essential to continuously involve professionals with expertise in continuity of service. She said the forced transfer of personnel to Irish Water would mean “compulsory military service,” adding that it could facilitate the privatization of water-related services. I will now reflect on the report and consider the next steps to take, bearing in mind that water supply is essential for the daily lives of our citizens and for our economy, and that we must ensure that the best possible arrangements are taken to provide these vital services. Irish Water argues that the current ALS system cannot provide the transformation necessary to establish a modern and efficient public water company, to achieve further reductions in operating costs or improvements in operational performance and after-sales service.