‘All options being considered’ amid Derry job loss fears

Stormont’s Department of Finance “will continue to evaluate all options” amid fears changes to how civil service pensions are administered will mean job losses in Derry.

Earlier this week SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said around 80 jobs could be lost at Derry’s Waterside House if the Department goes ahead with outsourcing plans.

Mr Ramsey said outsourcing was one of a number of options being considered by the Department.

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

“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.”

Today a spokeswoman for the Department of Finance confirmed a number of options are being considered.

She said ultimately the north’s Finance Minister Simon Hamilton will decide on the best way to move forward.

“The future delivery of Civil Service pension arrangements post 2015 is being considered by necessity due to the coming to an end of existing service contracts and legislative changes to the pension scheme provisions . We have no choice in the matter.

“Options for future service delivery are currently being developed and appraised. It is much too early in the process to conclude what the preferred option will be, and ultimately it will be for the Minister to decide on this.

“However, as options for delivery are developed implications for staff, if any, will be carefully considered and managed with the objective of ensuring minimum disruption and inconvenience. Management is acutely aware of the potential for distress amongst staff that will be generated as a result of unhelpful speculation about the shape and format of future delivery. We will continue to evaluate all options and keep staff fully appraised.”

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.