Fórsa members at the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) have halted the latest phase of their industrial action, which had commenced yesterday (Thursday), following an agreement that will allow the Authority to attend the Labour Court under binding arbitration.
Fórsa official Ian McDonnell wrote to SFPA management today to confirm that the industrial action would cease with immediate effect, and that both parties agree they should jointly seek an early hearing by the Labour Court.
The dispute, which led to two work stoppages take place at Irish fishing ports in January, involves the findings of an independent review of the SFPA carried out by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), and attempts by management to implement and impose a series of 47 recommendations without the input of the staff representatives in the agency.
The latest phase of industrial action industrial action involved non-cooperation with a number of specific tasks. These actions include quality management systems, weekly situation reports and weekly written reports, in addition to Brexit–related processes, such as all work related to the Agriculture Field Inspection Testing (AFIT) system.
An arbitration process, scheduled to take place in July 2021, was disrupted at the last minute when the SFPA informed the Court that any outcome would need to be approved by the Department of Public expenditure and Reform. Consequently, the Labour Court was unable to assist any further. Throughout the dispute, Fórsa had sought a return to the binding arbitration process.