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Equitable resolution to Civil Service dispute must be reached swiftly - McGuigan

6 August, 2004

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA, Philip McGuigan, has expressed his concern at the ongoing stalemate in the pay dispute between the NIO and the Civil Service Union, NIPSA.

Mr McGuigan said:

"The public at large have been bearing the brunt of this pay dispute for over 34 weeks now with some of the people affected have no other sources of income. It is causing extreme hardship to some families already under extreme duress due to illness and other impediments.

"Some of the recent enquiries that we have dealt with in our North Antrim Office have made us realise that there are now backlogs of up to 12 weeks in some departments. We have been receiving numerous complaints about: Incapacity Benefit, Pension Credit Guarantees, Carers' Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance.

"All local parties are equally angry about the mishandling of this issue by the NIO, British direct rule Ministers and senior civil service management. An equitable resolution to this long running dispute must be reached, and reached swiftly.

"If anybody has been adversely affected by the above strike please do not hesitate to contact the Sinn Féin Advice Centre on (028) 276 57198 for help and assistance." ENDS

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