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Strike action on hold after last ditch talks bring ABC Council and unions back to table

Last ditch talks facilitated by a group of councillors and one MLA has led to Council management and trade unions agreeing to get back round the table to thrash out a pay deal.

Strikes in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are on hold for new intense talks on pay to begin, GMB said today (Friday).

The fresh talks will be facilitated by the Labour Relations Agency (LRA).

The joint unions (GMB, UNITE and NIPSA) met yesterday (Thursday) with local councillors of all major parties and UUP leader Doug Beattie, as the local MLA.

Strike action was due to begin August 10.

Alan Perry, GMB regional organiser, said: “Working people deserve fair pay in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis for decades.

“We are hopeful that these new talks will lead to meaningful shifts from management. As such, we have paused our strike action.

“I’d like to thank the local councillors and MLA for their supportive work on this.”

Commenting on the joint Trade Union statement in relation to industrial action, Chief Executive of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Roger Wilson said: “Elected members and Council management welcome this positive development, and remain committed to further meaningful discussions with all Trade Unions in the days ahead.

“Our aim has always been to reach a satisfactory resolution for all staff, residents and businesses of the borough.”

Three trade unions – GMB, Unite and NIPSA – with Council, attempted to thrash out a deal on Tuesday.

Council offered to give its employees, both full and part time, two one-off £600 payments over the next six months, however, that offer was labelled “insulting”.

Read more: ABC Council facing ‘shutdown on a scale not seen before’ as Unions label pay offer ‘insulting’

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