Concern over pensions posts

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Local civil servants who work in other parts of the north must be given the chance to fill almost 100 new posts based in Derry, an MLA has said.

Colum Eastwood is among a number of SDLP MLAs set to meet today with the Director of Pensions to lobby for Derry workers to be transferred to the new posts.

A total of 95 jobs are to be moved from Belfast to Derry in the coming months.

Mr Eastwood says a number of constituents have raised concerns over the recruitment process for the new jobs.

“Over the last number of weeks, I have been approached by a number of constituents who are currently employed within the civil service.

“They have raised the concern that the internal recruitment drive currently underway does not give due preference to those Derry civil servants who wish to transfer to these newly established positions in their hometown,” he says.

Mr Eastwood says common sense needs to be applied to the recruitment process.

“Providing local employment to locally based civil servants would not only act to provide better working conditions and life quality but would also cut out unnecessary travel to Belfast, travel which is paid for by the taxpayer.

“I hope that common sense will prevail,” he says.

The SDLP MLA says the transfer of the 95 jobs is “a most welcome development, offering a rare example of decentralisation from Stormont’s government departments.”