Civil service and industrial action.

A no-strike clause in the job specification of key public servants is essential to the welfare of any country.

For example, senior armed forces officers, Garda Commissioners down to Superintendents and Inspectors, Civil servants above assistant principal officer level, the fire brigades senior officers, Consultants and senior nurses in the health service, GPs, Air Traffic controllers and a few others I am sure.

Serving the public requires a degree of political neutrality which we inherited from the tradition of the British Civil service.  Industrial action is a right in a democratic society which is respected in this country.  However, the extent of the industrial action is codified and limited, mostly recently by the Industrial Relations 1990.

Recently, I became aware that political representations from elected representatives of Fianna Fail and the Greens were being ignored by public officials.  I have also been told that Fine Gael members will also be boycotted as will representations from elected independents who are in any
way in favour of pay cuts in the public sector.

In a democracy, it is important that the will of the electorate is respected.  In Ireland, principle is often ignored in the political sphere.

I cannot do that because of my cussedness.

Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)said;

First they came for the communists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist

Then they came for the Jews
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew

Then they came for the Trade unionists
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist

Then they came for the Catholics
And I didn’t speak up because I was a protestant.

Then they came for me
And by that time, no one was left to speak up.

Niemoller’s words are an apt warning against apathy.

As a non-lawyer, I would like the City Council’s Law Department to give councillors an opinion on the legality of the details of this industrial action outlined above.