Future of DVA workers must be made clear

13 05 2014

 SDLP Reps at DVA Rally

SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat has accompanied a NIPSA delegation to meet the Head of the Northern Civil Service, Dr Malcolm McKibbin, to discuss the future of DVA workers in Coleraine.

 Speaking after the meeting, Mr Dallat said:

 “Given that the DVA workers now know their computers will be closed down on 11 July, I regarded this meeting as crucial to understanding what is happening to the future of the 285 DVA workers who may find themselves in an intolerable situation where they will be coming to work for the next six months with nothing to do and no future to look forward to.  That simply isn’t acceptable.

 “I believe the case was put very robustly by the NIPSA representatives and I was happy to endorse their accounts of shattered morale, a feeling of being let down by the DVLA in Swansea and no support from the government at Westminster.  I regret that no other party political representatives were able to attend to emphasise the high level of solidarity that exists for these workers but I will endeavour to keep them informed.

 “Obviously I will monitor closely any progress made by the Northern Ireland Civil Service to absorb as many of these jobs as possible. I look forward to a report from them being placed before the Assembly outlining what can be done to minimise the serious impact this closedown will have on the individuals and on the community as a whole.

 “I am pleased that the Minister for the Environment Mark H Durkan is working with the Minister for Finance and Personnel Simon Hamilton and hopefully the outcome of their involvement will influence the decisions that the Executive must take on 29 May when they next meet.

 “It is indeed ironic that the workers have been asked to work overtime which can’t be easy given the inevitable result of their endeavours.”

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Relocation not an option for DVA workers

15 04 2014
SDLP Reps at DVA Rally
 
Government jobs should be transferred to Coleraine in a bid to offer local DVA employees the opportunity to work close to home as relocation to other parts of the north isn’t an option for them, says East Derry SDLP MLA John Dallat.

After meeting with SDLP Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today on the future of the DVA workers at County Hall, Coleraine, Mr Dallat says relocation isn’t practical for many of the employees, whose jobs are to be be transferred to Swansea.

Speaking after the Stormont meeting, Mr Dallat said: “The transfer of these jobs to Swansea isa disaster for the wider economy of the area where experience tells us many more jobs will be in jeopardy after such a massive pay-off at County Hall.

“Minister Durkan remains totally committed to the future of the DVA workers and is working closely with his executive colleagues and has received the full support of the First and Deputy First Minister who raised the plight of the DVA workers with the Prime Minister at an economic conference in Belfast in October last year. 

“However, Mr Durkan has no direct evidence of the degree to which the Prime Minister’s office was directly involved in the decision to centralise vehicle licensing in Swansea and that is disappointing but not surprising.

“Recent replies to written questions tabled by me show that there are few vacancies in government departments that match the needs of the majority of DVA workers and a critical decision needs to be made to transfer jobs to Coleraine.

“The emphasis must be on transferring jobs to Coleraine rather than transferring workers to other workplaces. 

“All elected representatives must see the bigger picture and the disaster looming if this crisis is not resolved by a local solution which protects not just the jobs at County Hall, but the stability of the wider community which hinges on the retention of public service jobs in Coleraine.”





Action needed to help DVA workers – Dallat

21 03 2014

SDLP Reps at DVA Rally

East Derry MLA John Dallat has told a rally in Coleraine supporting hundreds of DVA workers whose jobs will transfer to Swansea that Executive ministers must co-operate in a bid to bring  jobs to the town.

 After addressing the NIPSA rally in Coleraine this afternoon, Mr Dallat said: “I have been privileged to carry the trade union flag through the streets of Coleraine and stand in solidarity with workers who are prepared to challenge the haemorrhaging of public sectors jobs and say ‘enough is enough’.

 “I pay tribute to those workers who kept their campaign above party politics and followed the path of the Polish workers in Gdansk many years ago when they also said ‘enough is enough’ and transformed democracy in that part of the world.

 “I believe the DVA workers in Coleraine have set an example which will be emulated across the North that this callous campaign of haemorrhaging jobs out of Coleraine across the water must stop, and the opposite must happen. The workers have lit a beacon of hope for others who will find their jobs in jeopardy too if this Tory party dogma is to continue.

“The message of solidarity must be matched by one of hope; hope that the Assembly will act and ministers will co-operate to identify jobs that can be transferred to Coleraine to support those who will find they are either unemployed, or are facing long journeys to work that are not practical or worthwhile.”





Defend the DVA March and Rally

18 03 2014

DVA%20Workers[1]

DEFEND THE DVA MARCH AND RALLY
FRIDAY, 21 MARCH 2014
ASSEMBLE AT COUNTY HALL COLERAINE AT 12.15 PM

Following the announcement that the Coalition Government is to proceed with the closure of all vehicle licensing offices in NI, Branch 230 which represents around 300 of the affected staff, have organised a march and rally in protest at the decision.  This is a huge blow to DVA staff in all 8 local offices and the impact will be particularly devastating for the local community in the Causeway Coast area and NIPSA is therefore asking all branches to make every effort to send representatives to the event.

 JOIN THE MARCH AND RALLY – NO JOB CUTS

FRIDAY 21ST MARCH ASSEMBLE COUNTY HALL COLERAINE AT 12.15 PM

FOR MARCH TO COLERAINE DIAMOND.





County Hall Jobs situation getting desperate

9 03 2014

DVA%20Workers[1]

The situation the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) workers at County Hall, Coleraine find themselves in is becoming desperate and a dreadful example of how workers can be treated by government according to local SDLP MLA John Dallat.

“The consultation process is long gone, the countless representations have been made and the arguments have been won but there has been nothing but a wall of silence from Westminster where the fate of their workers will be decided. 

“This is totally unacceptable and is taking an awful toll on the 300 workers affected by the proposals to move the work to Swansea where there are already 6,000 employed.

“We know that the centralisation plan to date has been a disaster with millions of pounds paid out in overtime at the Welsh centre yet the technology is available to do all this in Coleraine if only there was the investment and the will.

“Every politician worth his or her salt should be banging on the door of the Secretary of State, the Ministers of State and the government ministers who are clearly dithering and dallying and demoralising the an entire workforce which needs the solidarity of everyone until common sense prevails. 

“One MP, presumably in a moment of weakness, has enquired about ‘Plan B’ when he should have been making it clear that there must be only one plan and that is to retain the centre at Coleraine.

“Common sense must surely tell every elected representative that Coleraine needs nothing more than investment and commitment from government to modernise it.   Surely it is the responsibility of all politicians to get the message across that centralising thousands of jobs in one centre and moving them from an economic blackspot is not the behaviour of a government with an eye on equality and justice.”