Translink strike to go ahead without more pay detail – union

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Strike action by Translink workers is likely to go ahead on Thursday without more details from the Northern Ireland secretary about public sector pay rises, a trade union has said.

It would be the sixth day of action by bus and train staff in recent months.

There is speculation the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader will brief his party on Monday on a deal which could see it return to Stormont.

Alan Perry from GMB said the action was “regrettable and avoidable”.

But he told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Northern Ireland that the union was not in a position to call it off even if Stormont returned.

He said unions needed detail on the £3.3bn package promised by the UK government if Stormont is restored – which would include provision for public sector pay.

“He [the Northern Ireland secretary] has said there is £600m – is that enough to address public sector pay? We don’t believe that it is because we don’t have the detail,” Mr Perry said.

“Until we have the detail, strikes continue.”

When asked if this meant it was likely this meant strike action on Thursday would go ahead, Mr Perry said: “That would be correct, but of course, we would say that is regrettable and is avoidable.”

Mr Perry said Translink workers did not want to be on strike but were fighting for the protection of public services.

DUP meeting

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has said he has no legal power to release the money himself as it is a devolved matter.

The DUP collapsed the power-sharing executive at Stormont in February 2022 a protest against post-Brexit trade rules.

Senior party members will meet on Monday night for what is described as a “detailed update from the party leader on the current political situation”.

BBC News NI’s political editor Enda McClafferty said it appeared leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was fulfilling his pledge to brief the party’s executive before any deal to return to Stormont was made public.

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