Govt clerical grades in walkout

Wendy Cumming of the GGCA says that given Minister Isola’s refusal to engage with the GGCA despite repeated requests from the GGCA since January 2017 to date, and the fact that important restructures and reassignments of roles and responsibilities have occurred with no union consultation, 'we feel we have no further option but to engage in industrial action. IT&LD members will be taking industrial action in the form of a walkout on Thursday 11 April from 2.30pm to 3.30pm at John Mackintosh Square.'

The GGCA has reopened a dispute with HM Government of Gibraltar in respect of its membership within the Information Technology and Logistics Department (IT&LD).

A statement adds that members are deeply concerned following a circular disseminated to all Heads of Department, Chief Executives, Authorities and Agencies regarding the creation of a Digital Services Authority whose role will focus on dealing with all IT related issues. 'There was no union consultation prior to the publication of this circular, whose contents were met with dismay by the GGCA Executive Committee and its IT&LD membership. This ‘fait accompli’ comes amidst fears of a ministerial plan to amalgamate all IT Government services under a new roof of appointed managers, believed to be composed of external contractors and civil servants whom lack the relevant IT experience offered by IT&LD since 1998.


'It is Minister Isola’s view, as expressed in an email to the GGCA President, that the establishment of such an authority is an operational issue and therefore does not require union consultation. The GGCA strongly affirms that any measure which seeks to restructure or amalgamate departments, create authorities or reassign roles and responsibilities deeply affects the workforce and therefore there is an unequivocal obligation on the employer to consult with the relevant union. In this case, GGCA has negotiating rights for the IT&LD and all IT sectors involved.'

The statement speaks of 'the sense of disappointment and fears that the Government of Gibraltar intends to ‘break’ the IT&LD is in response to the continued, long term measured approaches taken by the Ministry of Commerce (under Digital Services) to undermine and usurp the functions of IT&LD as a competent authority for IT related decisions, to create a hybrid authority and to outsource expertise previously sought in-house to external contractors.

'Indeed, these matters were initially raised by the GGCA following the transfer of an IT&LD officer in December 2016. In January 2017, an email was sent to Minister Isola, as the Minister for Commerce responsible for eGovernment, requesting that the GGCA be involved and consulted in any future changes to IT&LD.


These requests were ignored and a further three transfers were made to the detriment of IT&LD services and obligations. Following a declaration of dispute, the IT&LD met with the CM on 20th July 2018. As an outcome of this meeting, an ITLD Committee was to have regular meetings with the official side for the purposes of communication and to try and avoid further conflict and escalations. These meetings never transpired.

'In acknowledgment of the fact that we are in a difficult period relating to Brexit, the GGCA President requested that the circular be suspended until such time as the matters contained therein could be clarified and discussed with the union. This was not accepted by the official side. '


The Minister for Industrial Relations has been away from Gibraltar and the Union did not want to wait to try to resolve the matter. They have therefore decided to walk-out.

The Government respects the right of working people to carry out industrial action. Given the fact that there is as yet no resolution of the possibility that the United Kingdom and Gibraltar may leave the EU on Friday. It is not a propitious moment to be away from one’s place of work when the public sector needs to be ready to work for Gibraltar at this potentially very difficult time.