SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has pledged to fight any attempt to move approximately 80 civil servants job out of Derry, and revealed he is looking to place more public sector jobs in the maiden city.
During debate in the Assembly about public sector jobs in the North West, the Environment Minister spoke passionately about the SDLP’s commitment to defend public service jobs in the region. In particular, he referred to Pension Service employees in Waterside House in Derry.
Assemblyman Durkan said: “Should the proposal to install a new IT system and outsource the managed service take place, approximately 80 posts will be lost to the City. This is in no way acceptable. I want to assure the House today, the staff at Waterside House and in Richmond Chambers, the SDLP will not abandon you.
“We have fought to bring these jobs to Derry and we will fight to keep them. We have never shied away from our commitment to the City. The SDLP are the only party in the North to have brought civil servant jobs to Derry.”
Mr Durkan said the SDLP have led the fight to keep 300 DVA jobs in Coleraine, uniting all parties, and taking the campaign to Westminster.
Mr Durkan said: “The SDLP support the Executive’s commitment to address regional economic imbalance in the Programme for Government, and we had hoped the parties who lead these commitments would put their money where their mouth is. Sadly, to date these commitments have been little more than political jargon.
“We will not accept the removal of one job from Derry at a time when we should be calling for more. No political party, no minister can stand by the Programme for Government, the One Plan commitments and commitments to reduce unemployment if they consider removing vital public service jobs from a region of severe unemployment and deprivation.
“If parties have really committed themselves to the City of Culture; if the money invested is to benefit the City and help it grow, we need to keep every job we have and continue to boost the local economy.
“Any attempt at removing public sector jobs from the city of Derry will be met with a fight. I hope all parties unite, like we have done for Coleraine to protect all the people of the North West.”
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