A joint protest by Unite and GMB Union members (Joint Trade Unions – JTUS) will be held tomorrow (Friday, June 9) outside Causeway Council HQ at Cloonavin over installing CCTV cameras within the building.
According to a memo sent to members, this follows the unions being made aware on May 5 that CCTV had been installed at Cloonavin ‘without any engagement or consultation with staff or JTUS’.
The memo goes on to reveal that JTUS met with Council officers on May 9 to discuss the matter before Lorraine Hartin (Nipsa Higher Executive Officer) wrote to David Wright (Chief Finance Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council) asking for the CCTV to be removed whilst there was a consultation with staff and JTUS.
Following another meeting on May 25 with Mr Wright, JTUS say they were ‘given assurances from both David Wright and Karen Mailey that the cameras were not active yet and would not be activated, if they were to be activated, until consultation was complete’.
However, it has since emerged, according to JTUS, that on agreeing to cover the CCTV, ‘(council) realised they have been active after all.’ with both Karen Mailey and David Wright stating that they ‘did not know they were active and had not been informed that they were’.
Ahead of Friday’s planned protest, Alan Perry (GMB Trade Union Regional Organiser) has told us: “Industrial relations within CC&G council is at an all-time low after JTUS were made aware the council had put in CCTV cameras within Cloonavin without any prior discussions with unions.
“There is no agreed policy in place for the use of CCTV cameras, and in our view, the use is unlawful.
“Having already put in a vote of no confidence in this just adds to the complete lack of trust unions have in the SMT. We will now consider all options but can not rule out the possibility of industrial action.”
The short protest is planned between 12:45 and 1:30 PM outside Cloonavin, and JTUS has asked ‘as many members as possible to attend’.