Trade unions hold rallies in Belfast and Londonderry

Unison Protest in Belfast City Centre

Unison Protest in Belfast City Centre

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Trade union activists have held rallies in Belfast and Londonderry to protest against the pay rates awarded to many public sector workers.

Around 150 people from the Nipsa and Unison unions gathered at the front of Belfast City Hall where they were addressed by Nipsa’s Alison Millar.

The protesters were demanding a “decent pay award” after four years of almost stagnant pay rates.

“Members in education, local government, housing and further education have seen the buying power of their pay stand still while the cost of housing, utility bills and food has increased to the point where many of our members are telling us they can no longer make ends meet,” Ms Millar said.

Nipsa has said its members in Northern Ireland earn around 12 per cent less than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

“Many members are in receipt of tax credits and other benefits, so this government effectively has to subsidise their income.

“We therefore call on the employers’ side, and in particular the Northern Ireland representatives on the National Joint Council, to ensure Northern Ireland workers in education, local government and housing receive a decent pay increase,” she added.