Workers to lose allowance for lifting bins in wet weather

A select group of local authority workers are set to lose the ‘rain’ allowance they have been receiving for lifting bins in wet weather.

This follows the Labour Court recommending the end of the payment to the caretakers at Dublin City Council’s Traveller accommodation section.

The workers have been receiving the payment for lifting bins in inclement weather to a collection point at the edge of the council’s Traveller accommodation sites.

The seven workers continue to receive the payment today and, last night, chief executive of Isme, Mark Fielding said: “The rain allowance is just another example of the madness in the public sector when it comes to perks and allowances paid to employees.

“The list of hundreds of these reads like a script for a Monty Python sketch, except that it would be binned because it’s too surreal.”

Mr Fielding said the only allowance missing for the list “is the dead parrot allowance”.

“The Irish public sector will never become a world-class service for as long as these anomalies remain,” he said.

However, Dublin City Council has tabled proposals to eliminate the ‘rain’ payment.

Siptu and Impact opposed this move and when the sides were unable to resolve the dispute at local level and at the Labour Relations Commission, the matter was referred to the Labour Court.

At the Labour Court, Siptu and Impact argued that the necessity to work in inclement weather remained, as the caretaker staff still have a role to this day in ensuring that the refuse for the halting sites is removed by the new service provider.

Siptu and Impact also said there was a long standing agreement in place on the matter since 2000 and this agreement is in line with an overarching agreement on the issue which was in place for the entire cleansing unit in Dublin City Council.

However, in response, the City Council argued that the duties for which the payment was introduced are no longer being performed by the caretakers, and private contractors who now provide the bin collection service go on-site to lift the bins.

The council told the Labour Court it put forward proposals in an effort to resolve the issue.

In response, the Labour Court has described the council’s proposals as “fair and reasonable” and recommended that these proposals should be accepted by the unions in settlement of the claim before the court.

Jason Palmer, industry organiser with Siptu, said yesterday that the Labour Court’s proposals recommend ending the ‘rain’ allowance.

However, he said that proposals involve the creation of a new allowance that would not result in any financial loss for the workers concerned.

Mr Palmer said that the new allowance is in recognition for a change of work practices for the caretakers concerned involving greater mobility in their work.


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