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Over 1,000 new Covid-19 cases as union demands action to save council jobs and services

NIPSA fears 'the current crisis may result in some councils facing redundancy situations to deal with the ongoing crisis'

Coronavirus Social distancing

There has been 1,066 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed across Northern Ireland.

At the same time, one more death has been recorded.

The information was provided by the Department of Health on Sunday via its daily dashboard.

The update – for the past 24 hours – comes as one local trade union has called on the Northern Ireland Assembly to take action for local councils to save jobs and services.

NIPSA’s Local Government Panel said the recent news release in respect of NI council employees availing of furlough “highlights the ongoing extent of the pandemic upon council services, placing employees at risk of further redundancies as the ongoing spread of Covid-19 takes hold and local lockdowns are applied”.

The lifeline for many councils, jobs and services was secured via the implementation of the furlough scheme as redundancy fears loomed.

But the ongoing rise in Covid-19 cases continues to restrict council services and figures show many employees remain on furlough and at risk.

The union’s assistant secretary Terry Thomas said: “NIPSA requires action from the NI Assembly to reassure employees and secure these jobs and services, along with the future of councils by addressing the need for immediate additional funding and applying the Job Retention Scheme

“Having suffered from austerity policies over recent years, many councils’ funding have been in crisis prior to the pandemic and NIPSA fears the current crisis may result in some councils facing redundancy situations to deal with the ongoing crisis.

“NIPSA further calls for the NI Assembly and councils to secure a regional approach to any proposed job losses and requests that a regional severance scheme, such as that under the Review of Public Administration, be extended as a safety net for any employees who may be affected at this time.”

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