Staff working at Mid Ulster District Council will soon be able to take advantage of half price rates for ad-hoc fitness classes, swimming and gym.
The move, which was ratified by the council’s Policy and Resources Committee last Thursday, was suggested as a way of ‘improving staff wellbeing, job satisfaction and raising retention rates’.
Staff can already benefit from half price monthly memberships at leisure centres, but were paying the full rate for specific classes, as well as using the gym and swimming pool on a walk-in basis. The new pay as you go scheme covers Cookstown Leisure Centre, Dungannon Leisure Centre, Maghera Recreation Centre, Mid Ulster Sports Arena, Meadowbank Sports Arena and Moneymore Recreation Centre.
Staff at Cookstown, Dungannon and Greenvale Leisure Centres as well as Maghera Recreation Centre, Mid Ulster Sports Arena, Meadowbank Sports Arena and Moneymore Recreation Centre are all included in the monthly scheme, although for Greenvale staff the cost is £12.50 a month - £2.50 less than everywhere else (£15).
In 2015 the Mail reported how leisure centre staff were “unhappy” at being told they would have to pay to use the facilities at their places of work.
The decision, which was taken by Mid Ulster District Council in March that year, meant all council staff could pay £15 per month - deducted from their salary - to use leisure services.
But before it came into force in October, staff at Cookstown and Greenvale Leisure Centres were allowed to swim and use the gym for free, while in Dungannon it was reported they paid £1.
Council said at the time its decision to implement charges was taken in relation to membership of leisure facilities for all council staff, not just those working in the area’s sports centres.