Council - ‘more job losses not ruled out’

PROTEST. . . .A section of the large attendance at yesterday's protest outside the Derry City Council offices on Strand Road. DER3713JM77

PROTEST. . . .A section of the large attendance at yesterday's protest outside the Derry City Council offices on Strand Road. DER3713JM77

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Derry City Council has not ruled out further lay-offs despite the threat of strike action from workers over forced redundancies.

NIPSA Trade Union official Alan Law said last night that council Chief Executive Sharon O’Connor had “refused to give a guarantee” that further redundancies will be imposed. It was announced in recent weeks that three senior staff at the local authority will lose their jobs.

Following a NIPSA meeting with council officials, more than 100 council staff protested yesterday lunchtime outside the council office. Mr Law said: “Sharon O’Connor has refused to give this guarantee but then she accuses the trade unions of scaremongering when we tell people that. She can’t have it both ways,”

He said there had been a “failure” to hold meaningful consultation with unions on the Transforming Derry City Council project. A request by union representatives to meet with the council’s staffing committee on the issue had been declined.

Afterwards NIPSA members voted unanimously to commence a statutory ballot to include strike action and action short of strike action.

However Derry City Council said the change process was “discussed in detail”. A spokesperson said all procedures were in compliance with employment legislation and in full consultation with unions and staff members directly affected.

“The Council has now moved into the final phase of this management change process, which has been approved by elected members, in full consultation with unions.”