‘Will council plan save money’ - NIPSA

The trade union NIPSA has questioned whether Derry City Council’s restructuring plan will yield savings for rate payers.

Alan Law from NIPSA has said that initial estimates made by the union indicate that the restructuring proposals to merge the current seven council departments to create three, could cost the local authority up to £1m.

With that figure in mind the trade unionist said: “It’s hard to see where savings can be made.”

He added: “If these proposals promise significant savings then surely councillors would be shouting from the roof tops - yet no information on the subject has been made available to us.

“I am calling on the council to prove that savings will be made. At the minute that information is either being kept from the unions or does not exist.”

He said he found it “ridiculous” that council would consider such a large scale restructuring project - which the unions claim could lead to up to 30 job losses - without consideration as to whether it will lead to “extra cost, savings or be cost neutral”.

NIPSA has is not ruled out strike action over the restructuring proposals.

A deputation from the union addressed the council’s monthly meeting on Wednesday last.

Mr Law said the union will consult members on what action to take.

“Throughout this process we have said that these proposals have not been properly negotiated,” he said.

SDLP Councillor Gerard Diver said he was concerned at any suggestion of industrial action.

He also insisted the council had “co-operated” with the union.

“Any move to strike action would be regrettable,” he said.

“We do not want to see anything that would jeopardise the quality of the service the council provides to ratepayers”.

Derry City Council said it is committed to going ahead with the restructuring proposals.