Jan 10 - GGCA To Support Unite Protest Against Misuse Of Agency Workers

This afternoon, GGCA Executive Committee members met with Unite and GTA to discuss Unite’s protest on the misuse of supply and agency workers. The GGCA Executive Committee has agreed to support this protest and says it has set out its position “comprehensively” on the issue of supply workers within the clerical grades in the civil service.

A statement continued: “In June 2015, a recruitment process for Administrative Assistants was suspended by the Government of Gibraltar. We have been advocating, since that time, that this recruitment process be recommenced, as an unacceptably large number of supply workers have been covering vacant posts within civil service departments. We have, in this period, raised this issue in meetings with civil service HR, with the incumbent and former Chief Secretary and with the Chief Minister. We have also made a number of public statements.

“Indeed, in February 2018, we were able to send out to our membership the results of feedback from our members as to the scale of this problem: for example, in the Treasury Department, 22% of officers are supply workers; in the Income Tax Office, 22% of officers are supply workers, and the Department of Social Security, 24% of officers are supply workers.

“In March 2018, we carried out an online poll, where we asked our civil service members: “In your opinion is the AA recruitment process the most important civil service issue for the GGCA?” The response was overwhelmingly in the positive: 88% of our civil service members voted ‘yes’.

“In May 2018, the GGCA supported a Unite GHA walkout on the basis of this principle that external agency workers should not be engaged to cover permanent posts within the civil service and public service. We welcomed the Chief Minister’s subsequent commitment to resolve this matter, which was given publicly in May 2018 but with no outcome to date. We would like to see the situation resolved with no further delay, with an immediate recommencement of the Administrative Assistant recruitment process which was suspended in June 2015.

“We feel that it is extremely unfair that supply workers are covering vacant posts within the civil service on far inferior terms and conditions, usually the minimum statutory requirements. We feel these workers deserve the opportunity to apply for civil service Administrative Assistant posts, (i.e) to be given the opportunity to apply for permanent employment within the clerical civil service on the same terms and conditions as every other civil servant.

“On the basis of the above, the GGCA Executive Committee will be present at the protest on Wednesday 16th January at 3.30pm at Casemates. We invite all GGCA members to attend to support the protest, so that together we can end the practice of covering vacant posts within the civil service and the public service with supply workers. If this practice is not curtailed soon, it will have the net effect of diminishing the quality of employment for our youth and possibly for future generations.”