Court staff take strike action

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by Q Radio News

Courts services in Northern Ireland could face disruption today as some civil servants take strike action.

NIPSA union members employed as Courts Clerks and Courts Assistants are staging a walk out in a row over pay, conditions and terms.

Laganside, Antrim, Ballymena and Coleraine courts are expected to be affected by the action. 

Members say they are "frustrated" that despite taking selective strike action since last summer, no negotiations have commenced in an attempt to resolve the dispute, since the restoration of the NI assembly.

NIPSA General Secretary, Alison Millar said, "“Court Clerks and Court Assistants are set to take strike action in a number of courts across Northern Ireland on 3 February 2020 in furtherance of the current campaign in relation to NICS Pay, Terms and Conditions. 

"Members continue to be frustrated that a month after the restoration of the NI Assembly no offer or negotiations have commenced in an attempt to resolve this dispute.  

"NIPSA has met with the Finance Minister and raised the issues with all of the main political parties and while there have been words that indicate they wish to resolve the dispute – the words have not been followed up with action. 

"This is in direct comparison to the Health Workers dispute which within four days of the restoration of the NI Assembly intensive negotiations were in place.

“It is regrettable that our members have been forced into this position – however it is important that we keep the pressure on to seek to get the Management Side around the table in a meaningful manner in an attempt to resolve this dispute. 

"We do not accept the rhetoric ‘there is no money’.  Money must be prioritise to resolve this dispute – after all it is recognised by all parties that civil servants went beyond the call of duty during the three years when the political parties were absent from their jobs.”

Court Clerks and Court Assistants in Newry and Craigavon Courts will be on strike on Friday 7 February 2020.

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