The possibility of the country facing water shortages and boil water notices next week has been avoided after a dispute involving members of SIPTU at 30 local authorities was settled.
The local authority staff were due to stage a 2-day strike next Wednesday and Thursday.
The dispute related to the transfer of water services from local authorities to Uisce Éireann.
Last night Minister Darragh O’Brien wrote to SIPTU who are representing the workers and stated that workers who opt to stay in local authority employment rather than transfer to Uisce Éireann will have all their earnings protected.
According to SIPTU the letter from the Minister specifically included guarantees in relation to workers’ allowances and overtime payments they accrue currently as part of their work.
The letter also gives concrete examples of how the earnings of SIPTU members would be protected and removes an attempt by individual local authorities to renege on the commitment.
The union had warned of significant disruption to the provision of water and fire services in every county in the country if the strike went ahead next week.
Local authority worker and chair of the SIPTU water workers national negotiating committee, Stephen Kelly, said it was a very challenging situation for local authority water workers.
He added the decision to take industrial action was not taken lightly.