Some Limerick regeneration staff contracts not being renewed

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

SIX key regeneration workers are to be made redundant when their contracts expire in June, it has emerged.

SIX key regeneration workers are to be made redundant when their contracts expire in June, it has emerged.

The staff, who mainly work in community projects, received letters this week confirming their contracts will not be renewed beyond June 14 next.

At this time, the regeneration agency will move under the control of the new joint authority.

But the loss of six experienced community workers will be a blow to many communities, which are striving for some continuity.

“It’s not just about the jobs, it is about the housing area projects we are involved in. We don’t want to see them go. There are key front-line staff going which is a pity, but there is nothing we can do about this,” one staff member, who did not wish to be identified, said.

The majority of staff working with the regeneration agency are long term public sector workers, and were working on secondment from their own employers.

As a result, in June, they will return to these positions.

This includes chief executive Brendan Kenny, who is expected to return to Dublin City Council.

Local businessman Ray O’Halloran said these job losses could set the project back by three years.

“If the guys who are heading those structures are gone, then the link has gone. They have been there for five years. For someone who is not part of that chain, just to build up relationships with those involved would take three years,” he explained.

Mr Kenny said these cuts are out of the control of the regeneration agency itself - and are being imposed by central government.

He said: “Obviously, we are very keen as many staff as possible will remain in place, but this is not within our gift. From our view, it is crucial the people involved in the projects, who have built up an experience over the last five years, be retained.”

Elsewhere, hundreds of Eircom staff are facing an uncertain future after the firm went into examinership.

As part of the former state telecommunication firm’s rescue plan, it will reduce its 5,500 strong work force by 1,000.

There are more than 400 people working in Eircom’s telephone exchange in Roches Street, in the city centre, as well as in exchanges across Co Limerick, including in Kilmallock, Castleconnell, and Newcastle West.

There is better news for other telecommunications workers in the city, after it emerged customer care staff will not be affected by O2’s decision to seek 120 redundancies. Approximately 450 people in Limerick work for O2 in shops, and at its customer care centre in Castletroy.