Council stall on action over discrimination claims
A FINAL decision on claims of religious discrimination within Dungannon Council has been delayed until next month.
It is expected that if employees are successful, a massive half a million pounds will be paid out – with the ratepayers' purse being the possible source of the funds.
Councillors debated action on the matter – which first came to light in 2004 – at Monday night's full meeting.
The claims are believed to centre on a bonus scheme, introduced by the Council in the early 1990's. The scheme provided the opportunity to obtain a bonus of 33.3 per cent to their weekly wage.
However, it has been alleged that such an initiative was only offered to one side of the community.
A special meeting of the Council's Corporate Services Committee was held last month to investigate the continuing case.
But a Council source told the TIMES that the outcome from Monday night's meeting is a case of "back to the drawing board."
Said the source: "The decision has been put back for further consultation with Unions and employees.
"A special meeting of the Public Services Committee is to be held prior to the next monthly Council meeting, which is on August 14. Hopefully some resolution will be found then."
According to the source, a vote was taken by the parties to decide if any action should be taken. A majority of 13 councillors agreed to delay action for further consultation with Unions etc.
The Council source added: "This matter needs to be resolved before 2009, when it will be a matter for the newly amalgamated council bodies to decide."
Over a year prior to the revelations first being made public in 2004, one employee was successful in a discrimination claim for damages. It was believed a substantial five-figure sum was paid out.
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