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Armagh Jobs and Benefits Office among today’s lunch-time protest locations

A lunch-time protest is to be held at the Jobs and Benefits Office in Armagh today (Wednesday) as part of trade union opposition to the implementation of voluntary redundancies.

It will take place at the Alexander Road facility, along with all others Jobs and Benefits Offices, Social Security Offices and Job Centres across Northern Ireland, between 12.30pm and 1pm.Jobs office, Armagh

NIPSA, Northern Ireland’s largest public service trade union, has said that over 1,000 jobs will have been wiped from the public sector by the end of this month as voluntary redundancies are implemented in a number of public sector organisations.

Alison Millar, NIPSA Deputy General Secretary, claimed that this represented the destruction of jobs on an industrial scale and that if a factory closed with the loss of such a high number of jobs there would be uproar from all our politicians.

“There are over 800 staff leaving the NI Civil Service at the end of September and, taken together with the hundreds of jobs recently lost in the NI Housing Executive and the Further Education sector, we are facing what amounts to draconian cuts in services and jobs.

“This will be compounded by the plan to cut around 400 jobs in the Education Authority by early 2016, and the cut of another 800 plus jobs in the NI Civil Service by the end of November this year.”

Commenting on the scale of the job cuts Mrs Millar stated: “These job losses will damage public services and our economy. They will put untold pressure on staff remaining behind who will be expected to take on greater workloads and we are likely to witness a significant increase in stress related illness and other health and safety problems.

“The destruction of jobs in the public services will intensify over the next couple of years and it will result in a lost generation of young people who will be condemned to lower paid, precarious work, the dole queue and emigration.

“It is critical that these cuts are reversed if public services are to be protected.”

NIPSA members will hold lunch time protests across Northern Ireland to highlight the “unacceptable destruction of public sector services and jobs”.

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