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Unions Reject NI Water Offer

09 January 2015 16:18

NI Water has described as deeply disappointing the decison by the Water Group of Trade Unions to reject proposals designed to end their present industrial action.

The company said that, following intensive negotiations facilitated by the Labour Relations Agency, a suite of proposals was presented to Trade Unions on Thursday.

These included further revisions to the new pension arrangements and also contained a number of other initiatives around the consolidation of bonuses, increased holiday entitlement, a removal of caps on overtime, increases in on-call allowances, and the promise to present jointly a 2014 pay proposal which would mitigate the impact of increased pension contributions for employees over the next three years.

A company spokesperson said: ''Unfortunately, the decision by Trade Unions to reject these proposals and withdraw from the protocol designed to protect public health and safeguard our most vulnerable customers means that the likelihood of significant disruption has been greatly increased, particularly outside normal working hours and at weekends.

''NI Water will continue to do all that it can to minimise the disruption to services and remains on high alert with a Major Incident regime in place.  Unfortunately, with the limited resources available to it outside normal working hours and with 26,000 km of watermains, 15,000 km of sewers and literally thousands of pumping stations and treatment works to be monitored and attended to if necessary, there will be an impact on services to our customers and for this, we apologise.

''NI Water continues to engage with Trade Unions and is convinced that dialogue, rather than causing disruption to our customers, remains the best means to reach an agreed settlement to this dispute.''

ENDS

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