Northern Ireland

NI political parties give their views ahead of the public sector strike

Northern Ireland is set for the biggest day of industrial action in decades but where do the main political parties stand on the public sector strikes?

Alliance - Judith Cochrane MLA

"We respect the rights of unions to take industrial action and for individuals to go on strike, equally the choice of people to continue to work must be respected.

"No-one is under any illusions regarding the effects of the UK public expenditure cuts on Northern Ireland.

"Alliance is committed to the proper funding of public services and respects the role played by public servants in providing these services."

DUP - Simon Hamilton MLA

"We recognise the frustrations of public sector workers who are having their pensions negatively affected.

"For many, these changes will be the equivalent of a pay cut. However, this is a matter for the government in Westminster.

"We believe workers would have been better served by continuing negotiations rather than opting for strike action. Progress was being made in negotiations and further progress could have been made.

"We must recognise the disruption that the strikes will cause and also the pressures being suffered by private sector workers."

SDLP - Alasdair McDonnell MP MLA

"The SDLP wholly supports both the right and the necessity of public sector workers to make their voices heard and, as such, none of our MLAs will cross the picket-line.

"While we all understand the economic difficulties we are in at present, the cuts proposed by the Tory-led government in Westminster and enacted in the north of Ireland - cuts to much needed services and hard-earned pensions - are unacceptable in their current form."

Sinn Fein - Conor Murphy MLA

"I fully support the decision taken by many public sector workers to launch industrial action on 30 November against the British government's attempt to implement an increase in pension contributions which would significantly reduce their take home pay.

"We also resolved to engage with trade unions in order to develop a graduated scheme which would protect those at the lower-end of the pay scale by seeking an enhanced contribution from those on higher wages within the public sector."

Ulster Unionist - John McCallister MLA

"The Ulster Unionist Party respect the right to strike, however, we hope that Stormont will continue to function to full capacity on Wednesday.

"Party leader Tom Elliott will be in attendance on Wednesday in order to chair the Office of First and Deputy First Minister committee meeting.

"The decision of attendance will be left up to individual MLAs."