80 Derry civil service posts at risk - MLA

SDLP's Pat Ramsey.  (1005JB04)
SDLP's Pat Ramsey. (1005JB04)

Around 80 civil service jobs in Derry are at risk, a local MLA has said.

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said outsourcing the pension service posts currently based at Waterside House is among the options currently being considered by the north’s Department of Finance.

“I have recently met with staff and trade union representatives as concerns about the jobs at Waterside House grows,” Mr Ramsey says.

“The Department of Finance has begun what is calls a ‘Future Delivery Project’ to determine how the Pension Service will be delivered in the coming years. A number of options I have seen include the outsourcing of the work from Waterside House which would put up to 80 jobs at immediate risk in our City.

He continued:”The staff at the Pension Service Branch in Waterside House have always provided a first class service, they are well within any range of sickness or absence targets set by the Minister, and it is now time for the Minister to repay that dedication by ensuring that the staff have their jobs secured.

“The commitment in the Programme for Government to addressing regional imbalance is something I have asked the Minister about in this instance – if we are to have any faith in that commitment the Minister must ensure that staff are consulted with fully, that there is openness and accountability around the entire process, but above all, his overriding priority must be job retention in Derry.”

Trade Union NIPSA is to hold a public meeting on Thursday night in Derry’s Tower Hotel to discuss how these posts might be protected.