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Mulvey brought in to mediate IAA dispute

KIERAN Mulvey, a former Director General of the Workplace Relations Committee, has been appointed to mediate talks aimed at bringing the dispute at the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to a close.
The IAA employs 332 people at Shannon and Ballygirreen in Newmarket, many of whom are air traffic controllers.
The latest move follows a letter sent to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan on behalf of a number of disgruntled air traffic controllers, which made a number of charges.
It claimed that Shannon and Cork airports had to close on separate occasions during the summer, due to non availability of air traffic controllers, who have been alienated by management.
“The closures and non availability of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) is as a result of years of sustained abuse of the Air Traffic Control staff by the Executive Management team of the Irish Aviation Authority,” the letter alleged.
“IAA management have repeatedly and unilaterally changed the terms and conditions of employment of the staff of the IAA,” it claimed.
“They have denied staff their dignity in the workplace to the point that the continuity of the provision of Air Traffic Control service can no longer be guaranteed.”
It also said they were appalled by the dismissal of a staff member who was mentally ill, and requested an investigation.
In turn the IAA flatly denied all the allegations and said it had “provided an update to the Minister for Transport outlining the factual position on the matters raised and refuting the allegations in their entirety.”
In a statement on its website last Thursday, it confirmed the appointment of Mr Mulvey.
“The IAA can confirm the appointment of Mr. Kieran Mulvey as mediator with regard to ongoing unofficial industrial relations matters which have received some media attention in recent weeks.
“Mr Mulvey has been appointed by the IAA’s Internal Dispute Resolution Board (IDRB) to conduct mediation between the Company and Forsa and will operate under the auspices of the IDRB.
“The appointment of an independent mediator is provided for in the IDRB Charter. In accordance with the provisions of the Charter, Mr. Mulvey will report back to the chair of the IDRB within seven days.
“We look forward to cooperating fully with this mediation process and we request that the confidentiality of the process is now fully respected in order to allow Mr. Mulvey to carry out his review.”
TD Cathal Crowe said he and some colleagues on the Oireachtas Transport Committee had suggested Mr Mulvey’s appointment to Minister Ryan.
“I am confident that Kieran Mulvey, a very skilled mediator, will help to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion for all concerned,” he said.

by Owen Ryan

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