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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Lauren Harte

More than 1,000 NI council staff begin strike action affecting wide range of services

Strike action got underway on Monday morning at one of Northern Ireland's largest councils in a dispute over pay and conditions.

More than 1,000 staff at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council are expected to take part and as a result, all of its services will be affected.

Workers took to the picket lines at 6am on Monday and further action short of strike is to continue over the next four weeks.

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The strike was planned for earlier in the month but was later postponed to allow for further talks.

Members of the GMB, Nipsa and Unite trade unions are all involved.

In a joint statement last week the unions said the strike had been avoidable.

"We have asked management to address the serious and real cost-of-living crisis being faced by our members," they said.

They added that they had "sought and proposed reasonable and varied solutions", including incremental pay progressions and one-off payments.

"It is a pay equality issue," they said.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said the strike would cause "significant disruption" and services such as refuse, street cleaning and leisure would be affected.

"The council deeply regrets that this action has taken place and the impact that it is having on residents," a spokesperson said.

"The council remains committed to finding a resolution through ongoing discussions with trade unions."

The council has said it has made a number of offers to staff.

It said: “Council has made a substantial offer to the Trade Unions that would see a payment of £1,400 spread across two £700 payments for all employees, to provide immediate financial relief to staff dealing with cost of living pressures right now, at a cost to council of £2.3million."

The council has said it will seek to minimise the impact caused and endeavour to keep the public informed of service disruptions throughout the period of industrial action via its website and on social media.


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