SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat has spoken out in support of public sector workers taking industrial action on pension reforms scheduled for tomorrow, November 30.
He said: “The plans to increase pension contributions for civil servants are totally unnecessary because they will not cost the Northern Ireland budget a penny.
“It is, therefore, difficult to understand why other political parties failed to grasp this fact and instead opted to implement this Westminster cut.
“The 44,000 NILGOSC pension scheme members include many of the poorest paid workers in public service and they deserve our support.
“The SDLP wholly supports the right and the necessity of public sector workers to make their voices heard and, as such, none of our assembly members or councillors will cross the picket line.
“These cuts, proposed by the Tory-led government in Westminster and enacted in the North of Ireland – cuts to hard-earned pensions – are unacceptable and we support the unions in their proposals to reverse these decisions.
“The SDLP voted against the cuts in Westminster and Stormont to prevent a serious impact on frontline health services, protect against welfare cuts and defend the jobs and conditions of our low-paid public sector staff.
“The SDLP are the only part in the N.I. Executive who voted against British government plans to increase public sector pension contributions.
“We want to fully involve trade unions in the development of the programme for government.”