Siptu is demanding a 16% pay rise for airport workers as DAA’s staffing crisis continues

Siptu is demanding a nearly 16 per cent pay rise for DAA staff amid an acute shortage of security staff at Dublin Airport.

he wage claim comes as that Sunday independent can show that the crisis is now threatening to affect DAA’s other Irish airport, Cork.

The union is targeting a three-year cumulative retrospective pay increase for employees of 15.75 percent for the period from May 2020 to April 2023.

The claim, tabled just hours before the end of a Covid-related moratorium on such wage claims at the company, comes as Cork Airport’s security chief reached out to staff there, urging them to travel to Dublin to give their harassed Dublin security colleagues “critical support”.

“This should not be viewed as just a Dublin matter, it is a DAA matter and I would like to believe that we all stand together in a time of crisis, as we have done many times in the past,” Con Dooney wrote , Cork’s Head of Operations and Safety.

“Dublin Airport needs our support. I would like to believe that once again we will stand up and be counted.

“I know that’s asking a lot considering some of you have already done it all.

“However, the DAA is going through a crisis and I am reaching out to all of you to come together and support our business and most importantly our passengers.

“The entire Cork Airport senior team have agreed to travel to Dublin for the taskforce and join a support list in Cork which will allow us to release certified staff to travel to Dublin at various times over the coming weeks” , he said .

He said there was an expectation that support staff in Cork would help Dublin and that “non-essential tasks” in Cork would be put on hold.

Dooney made the plea to Cork Airport staff that “every person, team and department must either go to Dublin and support security operations and/or work shifts…in Cork security to follow up on the redundancy of certified staff.” to enable Dublin .

“First of all, I have to tell you very clearly – no matter how we support Dublin, this will put additional strain on our security operations for a while.

“We will have longer wait times and our brilliant people and operations will come under additional pressure.”

Meanwhile, DAA CEO Dalton Philips released a video updating staff in Dublin about the crisis and telling them that a management taskforce is working to end passenger queues, which are “completely unacceptable”.

“We have activated our highest level of crisis response measures,” he said. “Our gold group obviously meets a couple of times a day and we work our way through – but there’s no quick fix for that because you have a lot of demand and a very tight job market.”

The DAA is said to have hired 100 security guards at various levels of training in recent weeks. The process has been slowed by the lack of instructors, with only one person currently certified to train security guards, according to sources.

Kevin Cullinane, communications director for the DAA group, declined to comment on the salary request, but said he did Sunday independent that the company is “fully committed to the protection of civil aviation and the safety and security of everyone who travels through and works at Dublin Airport”.

“Given that aviation is a highly regulated industry, many DAA employees are required to undergo training to meet international safety requirements. This includes security personnel undergoing regular recurring training in accordance with aviation regulations,” he said.

“There is always a continuous flow of staff in our training facility. In recent months, DAA has increased its capacity for safety trainers and we are committed to a further increase in the coming weeks.

“Last October, the DAA resumed recruiting new security screening personnel and all staff completed security induction training.

“Currently, DAA has recruits undergoing security training to complement our team of over 600 security officers and we plan to add another 300 to this this summer – recruited, tagged, certified and trained to match the increasing passenger demand that we experience in postal traffic -Covid.”

DAA is now facing even more pressure from a Siptu payment claim originally filed in October 2019 with a lower claim.

At the time, the union was targeting 4 percent a year for three years – but it has now upped its claim to take account of spiraling inflation, revising the third year to 7 percent.

The union also told the company that it wanted to discuss pay for night shifts, believing that “the current pay model does not adequately reflect unsocial working hours”.

“A lot has happened since the wage application was originally submitted in October 2019 – most notably the Covid pandemic and the resulting new forms of working arrangements. Additionally, in 2022, our members and their families must contend with rising living costs,” the claim filed with the company said. Siptu is demanding a 16% pay rise for airport workers as DAA’s staffing crisis continues

Fry Electronics Team

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