GMB and Unite announce coordinated strike action for Northern Ireland civil service workers

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GMB and Unite have announced coordinated strike action for Northern Ireland civil service have voted to strike action.

Across the two unions more than 400 road crew, rivers agency, forest service and Strangford Ferry workers are set to down tools in anger at the 2023/24 pay award from the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) of just two per cent.

NICS strikes dates - which will take place alongside existing Road Service industrial action – will be announced in the coming days.

Alan Perry, GMB Organiser, said: “Strike action is always a last resort for any worker - but management intransigence has left our members with no alternative but to go to the gate. The pay increase currently offered is nothing short of an insult.

More than 400 road crew, rivers agency, forest service and Strangford Ferry workers set to down tools.More than 400 road crew, rivers agency, forest service and Strangford Ferry workers set to down tools.
More than 400 road crew, rivers agency, forest service and Strangford Ferry workers set to down tools.

“The situation is not made any easier by Roads Service management going on radio seeking to shift the blame onto workers.

“The way to resolve all these disputes is for management to sit down with the trade unions and make an offer which addresses our members’ concerns.

“Management has a responsibility to the travelling public; they must act to avoid unnecessary risk and disruption.”

Gareth Scott, Unite Regional Officer, added: “This ballot result is a powerful mandate for strike action. We now need to see movement from the Department for Infrastructure to address our members’ pay claim.

“It is simply unacceptable that Road service, Rivers Agency, Forest Service and Strangford Ferry workers – who are already among the lowest paid workers in the civil service – are expected to accept a 12 per cent real-terms pay cut.

“Our members are determined to defend themselves and to that end Unite and GMB will be coordinating with NIPSA to maximise the impact of our industrial action.”