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Direct Rule Ministers should help sort out civil service dispute

19 July, 2004

Sinn Fein Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has called on British Secretary of State and direct rule NUIO Minister Ian Pearson to show leadership in attempts to find a settlement to the long running civil service industrial dispute. Ms Gildernew's call comes after the dispute was extended to planning offices.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Despite talks between civil service management and trade unions there remain a number of barriers to the resolution of this long running dispute.

"British direct rule Ministers appear to have abdicated all responsibility for sorting out this mess. It is time that either Paul Murphy or Ian Pearson intervened because the talks appear to be going nowhere fast. Vulnerable people and communities are suffering as a result.

"I would urge greater flexibility in addressing the legitimate concerns of civil service members, particularly in respect of their outstanding pay demands otherwise I fear that the dispute will escalate further in the coming weeks." ENDS

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