‘Union rights’ at Greenvale leisure facility up for debate

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THE right of trade unions to organise in Magherafelt’s Greenvale leisure centre is up for debate at tonight’smeeting of the local District Council.

A motion has been tabled for discussion by Sinn Fein Councillor Peter Bateson.

In the motion, he expresses “concern” that Pulse - who contract the leisure facility from the council - do not recognise trade unions.

“Denial of trade union recognitions is unacceptable to this council and therefore the council agrees to approach Pulse to seek their agreement to facilitating NIPSA having access on the premises to its employees to discuss trade union membership,” it reads.

With Sinn Fein the majority party on the council the motion is expected to be carried.

The Greenvale Centre is no stranger to controversy.

In May 2012 NIPSA, the largest public service union representing Council employees, strongly criticised Magherafelt Council’s decision to ‘privatise’ the Greenvale facility.

“In 2010, when 30 leisure staff were made redundant, NIPSA warned that this was the start of the privatisation process,” said its Assistant General Secretary Bumper Graham at the time.

“This is an abuse of public money, staff were made redundant at a great personal cost to them and also a considerable cost to the public purse in order to pave the way for Magherafelt Council to center into a questionable deal with the private sector.

“The public purse paid for the redundancies, paid for the refurbishment and the totally refurbished centre has now been handed over to the private sector to make profit.”

The MAIL has contacted Pulse for a response to Councillor Bateson’s notice of motion.

See this week’s South Derry edition for full story.