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Government offers agency workers direct full time employment

The Gibraltar Government has today made offers of direct, full time employment in Government to all staff of recruitment agencies who have been providing ‘relief cover’ in the civil service.

The move was declared a “victory” by Unite the Union who had led an en mass demonstration earlier this month against demanding an end to ‘unfair’ employment practices.

According to Unite, the decision will affect over 100 agency workers.

This comes after the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, met with all workers employed via S&K, BETA and Rock Admin agencies.

Mr Picardo convened the agency workers at 3pm to advise them that they are being offered employment in the Government directly through the Gibraltar Development Corporation (GDC) with immediate effect, so they will no longer be providing services on agency terms.

They will instead be directly employed by the Government.

He was accompanied by the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, the Chief Secretary Darren Grech and the Head of Human Resources for the GDC, Michael Crome.

Clerical / Administrative Support workers will be offered posts as Grade 1 Officers and Technical Officers will be offered posts in the Skill Zone scale of the GDC.

Mr Picardo also informed those assembled that the Government is with immediate effect opening the entry level AA vacancies in the Civil Service and that they will be able to apply for those posts as ‘internal applicants.’

Twenty two such posts, which is the total number of entry level vacancies available, will be opened no later than the end of this week.

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Mr Picardo said: “On the 1st of May last year I announced that we would stop using agency workers in the Civil Service.”

“After an in-depth analysis by the Cabinet of the distribution of agency workers throughout the service, we have collectively decided that the best way to implement my clear and unequivocal commitment is to move all those who are currently employed as agency workers into direct, full time employment with the Government via the GDC.”

“I am also now moving, with no further delay, to ensure that the entry-level vacancies in the Civil Service are opened for internal application,” he said.

Mr Picardo explained that there are 22 AA vacancies in the Civil Service which will be opened this week to internal applicants in the wider public sector.

“There will be no further delays in respect of the opening of these vacancies.”

“I am delighted to have been able to now fully implement the decision I announced at the May Day rally last year and which I highlighted again in my New Year’s Message three weeks ago, earlier this month. It is no secret that this has been a difficult year and that I would have wished to have implemented these changes sooner if time had allowed me to.”

“I was very happy to meet all those who have been working with us in the public sector via agencies and to make this offer to them directly.”

“I know this will bring certainty and security to their lives. I am pleased to be able to resolve matters in this positive and forward looking way for agency workers.”

“The Government will no longer be resorting to the use of agency staff other than in situations of genuine, urgent, short-term cover being required.”

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Additionally, Unite explained that a union representative yesterday accompanied a group of eight supply postal workers to a meeting with the pertinent minister, whereby they have also been offered permanent employment.

“We will continue to actively follow, pressure, and influence so that our demands and aspirations are met to ensure that our future generations can enjoy dignified employment with adequate terms and conditions,” the union said in a statement.