Council's financial woes are 'self-inflicted' - NIPSA

Borough's wage levels are lowest in Northern Ireland

Council's financial woes are 'self-inflicted' - NIPSA

Cloonavin, Causeway Coast and Glens Council headquarters.

Julie Magee

Reporter:

Julie Magee

Email:

newsdesk@thechronicle.uk.com

CAUSEWAY Coast and Glens Council's financial woes are “self-inflicted” according to a trade union official who has fought to secure higher wages for the local authority's staff.

NIPSA's Alan Law lashed out after councillors were told that spiralling costs, including a pay hike taking low paid workers on to a Living Wage, had led to a £3.9million overspend in the council's biggest spending department budget.

The Environmental Services deficit has been branded a financial “car crash” by Sinn Fein's Dermott Nicholl.

Mr Law, who represents council workers, told The Chronicle: “As part of the 2019/20 national pay settlement Causeway Coast and Glens Council has now been forced to bring their staff into line.”

He added that “any cash crisis is self-inflicted” by councillors' decisions to freeze rates for three successive years or increase them slightly to unsustainable levels.

Mr Law challenged councillors to “show leadership” and drive the borough's economy forward by ensuring more well paid jobs come to Causeway Coast and Glens.

The union official's comments came after the latest labour market statistics showed that weekly earnings across the borough are the lowest in Northern Ireland.

*Full story in this week's Chronicle*

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