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Govt and unions edge closer to addressing concerns on agency workers

The Gibraltar Government will announce “in the coming days” how it proposes to address the concerns and grievances of Unite the Union over the use of agency workers.

This comes after the Cabinet met yesterday morning for an in-depth discussion on the question of agency workers, its second consecutive meeting on the subject.

According to a Government spokesman, this involved detailed statistical analysis of the numbers of agency workers employed in the public sector.

“The Government is confident that a positive and constructive way forward can be found to resolve the issues raised by Unite,” the spokesman added.

The Cabinet meetings come after Unite officials led a march from Casemates Square to No.6 Convent Place last week, calling on the Government to take action on “unfair” working practices in Gibraltar.

And this week, in a letter to Unite members, Stuart Davies, the newly appointed UK National Officer responsible for Unite Gibraltar, said: “The union sees the event on Wednesday [last week] as a culmination of the concerns and frustrations that Unite and its members have harboured over the issues that we were raising and Thursday was the start of the resolution and the way forward.”

“Myself, the officers and both the Chair and Vice Chair of the Unite Gibraltar Committee met with the Chief Minister…to commence the dialogue on the issues that we raised and the union were met with promising noises from Government.”
Mr Davies assured union members that this dialogue and any negotiations “will be conducted with full transparency and members will be kept fully updated”.

“We will be presenting a formalised list of the union’s demands and aspirations to the Government by the close of business on Friday February 1 which will develop the headline demands that appeared in my Gibraltar Chronicle article on Wednesday.”

“This shopping list, for the want of a better word, has evolved across the last few days and in light of the conversations we were having with attendees at the demonstration.”

“We anticipate productive and constructive dialogue with the Government of Gibraltar,” Mr Davies explained.

“There are shared aims and goals where there is consensus, but also no doubt areas where there is disagreement which we will work through and the union will remain pragmatic providing meaningful progress is being made against this agenda.”

“The message is clear from our members, they want progress, not promises,” he said.

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