Belfast Telegraph

More staff join 24-hour strike over budget cuts and jobs

By Alan Jones

More public sector workers across Northern Ireland are set to join a 24-hour strike in a dispute over budget cuts and jobs.

Members of the Unison and the GMB unions working in health, education, the Civil Service, transport, the Rivers Agency, Forestry Service and Environment Agency will walk out next Friday.

Unison said the industrial action was a result of "damaging" cuts to public services, warning that hospital accident and emergency departments were under increasing pressure, staff were stressed and wards overcrowded.

Around 1,500 education support jobs are to be cut and services slashed, said Unison.

Ambulance staff will also be on strike, although Unison said initial proposals had been made for emergency cover.

The GMB warned that 20,000 jobs could be axed and claimed that savings from redundancies could be used to pay for a tax cut for big business.

Regional officer Alan Perry said: "Thousands of jobs and millions of pounds will be taken from the economy in both private and public sectors - thousands will join the dole queues."

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