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Pearson challenged to engage with Nipsa

25 June, 2004

Speaking as striking NIPSA members gathered for a lunchtime rally at the City Hall in Belfast, Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has again urged the British Direct rule Minister Ian Pearson to engage constructively with the union to resolve the dispute.

Ms Gildernew said:

" Yesterday Mr Peasrson moderated his language and appeared to be adopting a more conciliatory approach to the strike. If this is the case then this would be a welcome development. I have met with striking civil servants over the past number of weeks and they are eager and willing to see this dispute resolved amicably.

" The onus lies firmly with the Minister to open up meaningful and constructive dialogue with the union. Trying to determine the outcome of such dialogue before talks even commence is an obvious non-starter.

" I am again calling on Ian Pearson to get a grip of this issue and sit down and sort this pay dispute out once and for all." ENDS

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