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Sinn Féin’s Group leader criticises unionist politicians for failing to protect furloughed council employees

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BT Coleraine

Sinn Féin’s Group Leader on Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Cllr Cara McShane, has criticised Unionist politicians for failing to protect furloughed council employees.

Speaking after an online Council meeting Cllr Cara McShane said:

“Sinn Féin proposed that the 61 staff who are eligible to be furloughed, should receive the remaining 20% of their salary from the Council. Our proposal was rejected by the DUP and UUP.

“There is already an obvious and significant savings for Council, which can now avail of 80% of these salaries from the government’s Job Retention Scheme, introduced due to the ongoing COVID19 public health emergency.

“Sinn Féin believed that Council making up the remaining 20% of the employees’ salary was the right thing to do.

“The staff who are eligible, did not ask to be furloughed. These employees who provide a frontline service, would prefer to be at work and receiving 100% of their pay packets.

“During this time, many workers and families are faced with increased economic uncertainty and pressures. Causeway Coast and Glens Council had the opportunity to show it was an organisation who had the workers’ interests at heart, but it failed again.

“It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that the DUP and UUP joined forces to reject our proposal. Instead, they voted through a proposal which could see up to £300,000 going to events such as the North West 200 – despite those events being cancelled this year.”

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