Northern Ireland

Nipsa to take industrial action over electoral office closures

NIPSA sources said one option would be to take action around the time of the EU referendum Image copyright ADRIAN DENNIS
Image caption NIPSA sources said one option would be to take action around the time of the EU referendum

The public service union, Nipsa, says its members have voted to take industrial action over plans to close six regional electoral offices.

Nipsa sources said the union would consider taking action around the time of the EU referendum next month.

But a decision has not yet been made and depends on consultation with the union's members.

The offices facing closure are in Ballymena, Banbridge, Londonderry, Newtownabbey, Newtownards and Omagh.

The Electoral Office plans to centralise many of its services in Belfast.

Its management held talks with trade union officials on Friday, but they ended without resolution.

Nipsa official Dooley Harte said 92% of the trade union's members supported strike action, whilst 100% backed other forms of industrial action, such as a ban on overtime.

He added that it was likely, although not confirmed, that any such action would take place around the time of the 23 June referendum.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said: "Our focus is on ensuring that voters don't face disruption when registering to vote, or when they cast their vote on polling day.

"We will work closely with the chief electoral officer to ensure that this is minimised, despite any forthcoming industrial action."

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