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March 13 Northern Ireland Strikes

Monday, March 9, 2015

Northern Ireland March 13th Protests To Be One Of Largest Organised For Years By Unions Over Stormont House Agreement

Active trade union engagement is needed on the working out of the broad impact of the proposed cuts and how these will impact on everyone not just public sector workers says GMB.

GMB commented further in advance of public sector strikes, marches and rallies scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland on Friday 13th March. See notes to editors for previous press releases from GMB on this.

Planned rallies and marches will take place across Northern Ireland on 13 March as follows:

·    Belfast - Assemble Writers Square, 12noon. March off, 12.30pm, rally at the Belfast City Hall rally, 1pm.

·    Derry - March from Altnagelvin Hospital, 12noon to the rally at Guildhall Square, 1pm

·    Strabane - Assemble Market Square, 12noon. Rally at Abercorn Square, 1pm.

·    Enniskillen - Assemble Gaol Square, 12.30pm. Rally at The Diamond, 1pm

·    Omagh - Assemble Tyrone County Hospital, 12.30pm. Rally at the Courthouse, 1pm

·    Magherafelt - Assemble and rally at The Diamond, 10am

·    Cookstown - Assemble and rally at The Old Post Office, 12noon

·    Dungannon - Assemble and rally at South Tyrone Hospital, 2pm

·    Newry - Assemble and rally at Daisy Hill Hospital, 1pm

Michael Mulholland, GMB Regional Organiser, said “On Friday 13th March in Northern Ireland we will see one of the largest trade union organised protests in many years.

GMB members, from transport, education, NHS and the civil service, will attend marches and rallies against the planned cuts in public services and the threats to jobs in Northern Ireland. 

GMB require full transparency on the detail of the Stormont House Agreement and what further impacts these will have on the population of Northern Ireland as a whole

GMB want active trade union engagement on the working out of the broad impact of the proposed cuts and how these impact on everyone not just public sector workers.

In addition members employed by contractors who provide services to the public sector who will be impacted by these cuts are not able to avail of any enhanced exit package and indeed they have little recourse at all. This is not acceptable.”


Contact:  Michael Mulholland on 07974 018 413 or Denise Walker 07808 101357 or Alan Perry 07974 018410 or 02890 393340 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Copies of GMB press releases on strikes in Northern Ireland.

GMB press release dated 3rd March 2015


Under the Stormont House Agreement thousands of jobs and millions of pounds will be taken from the economy in both the public and private sectors with as many as 20,000 jobs going for good says GMB

GMB members employed in Translink, in Education and in the Northern Ireland Civil Service  in the Road Service, the Rivers Agency, the Forestry Service and Northern Ireland Environment Agency have voted for industrial action on the 13th March over proposed cuts in the public sector in Northern Ireland. GMB members in the NHS in Northern Ireland have already taken action after an earlier voted for strike action. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release dated 28th Jan 2015.

Alan Perry, GMB Regional Officer, said “GMB now have a mandate for members in Education, Translink, Northern Ireland Civil Service and NHS to take action on the 13th March against cuts in the public sector in the pipeline.

GMB members disagree with economic elements the Stormont House Agreement as follows:

·    There is not £2 billion in new money.

·    The Westminster Government is making the Assembly Executive take a pay-day loan to invest in redundancies.

·    As many as 20,000 jobs could disappear forever.

·    Hundreds of jobs have already been lost in the Community and Arts Sector. More will follow impacting on young people, the elderly and the most vulnerable across the community

·    The savings from these redundancies could be used to pay for a tax cut for big business

·    If corporation tax is lowered there will be a further reduction in the block grant and public services. There is no guarantee that a single job will be created because of this hand-out to businesses and large corporations.

·    There is an absolute certainty that thousands of jobs and millions of pounds will be taken from the economy in both the public and private sectors – thousands will join the dole queues.

·    Many thousands of public servants who have been made redundant as well as thousands of private sector workers who will lose their jobs as a consequence, face the prospect of fighting for minimum wage, zero hour or call centre employment or the everyday humiliations which are a growing feature of the cruel Tory “vision” of welfare.

·    This is a bad financial deal fit only for a land of pound shops and food banks rather than the society members voted for at the last election.

GMB members with other union members take action for a decent society and there is a better and fairer way”.


GMB press release dated 28 Jan 2015.


There is no confirmation that the pay offer for NHS staff in England will be applied in full as has been the practice for over 60 years says GMB

GMB members in the NHS and ambulance service in Northern Ireland will take strike action on Thursday 29th January after the Department of Health failed to put on the table the new pay offer for staff in the NHS in England. See notes to editors for copy of correspondence from Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and for GMB press release on new pay offer in England.

GMB members in the rest of the NHS will take strike action from 9am to 9pm and members in the ambulance service will take strike action between 12noon and 12 midnight on Thursday 29th January.  Media are directed to picket lines outside Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast (Grosvenor Road entrance) and Belfast City Hospital Belfast (Lisburn Road entrance) Call GMB officers for other locations across the province for smaller pickets.

Michael Mulholland, GMB regional officer, said “The response from the Department puts us back to square one. On that basis GMB and Unite members will take strike action tomorrow.

There is no confirmation that the pay offer for NHS staff in England will be applied in full as has been the practice for over 60 years. Instead we are invited to make reference to it in the discussions we have been offered. There is also no pay offer on the table for 2014/15.

This is moving the goal posts and is totally unacceptable.

At this late stage GMB calls on the Minister Jim Wells to intervene as Northern Ireland is now the only part of the UK facing a damaging day of NHS strike action.

NHS workers are furious and the public will want to know why the Department of Health is not putting the offer in England on the table as they are expected to do. "




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