“We Should Direct Our Anger Towards Stormont – Essential Workers Have My Full Support in Strike Action” - Brolly
The Aontú candidate for East Derry, Gemma Brolly, has expressed her “100 percent support” for essential workers who have “been driven” to strike action.
Speaking today, Ms Brolly said: “This week will bring disruption to many services, such as waste collection, leisure and street cleaning services, transport and school meals services. It is extremely unfortunate that workers have been forced to take this action out of desperation in order to be treated fairly. A pay increase of a mere 1.75% was proposed which is simply scandalous! A number of essential workers have been in contact with me in recent days to say that they haven’t received a pay rise in eleven years! Not to mention the treatment of P&O employees at the weekend to by sacked via a zoom call, with absolutely no support as a result of ‘fire and re-hire’ legislation implemented by the government.”
Ms Brolly continued: “All this, while a number of government officials have accepted pay rises! Many people are struggling to make end’s meet. My Aontú party colleague in Ballyarnett, Cllr Emmet Doyle, has rightly called on politicians to come clean on whether or not they’ve accepted pay rises in recent months. Many mothers and fathers are sitting down around kitchen tables in Derry today trying to budget their funds while the cost-of-living spirals. Our government are aware these decisions cannot be taken locally. As long as they turn their backs on these essential workers, insulting them with such unfair wages they will have hard questions to answer when they come knocking on doors looking for votes.”
“As a teacher and a member of a teacher’s union, I am fully aware of the refusal to accept the latest pay increase proposal. Governmental departments and their officials are also aware of this and if they do not act swiftly and fairly, we could face a much-increased state of disruption for a substantial period of strike time. As a teacher however, I am also extremely aware of the value and commitment of all staff within a school setting. It is my belief that classroom assistants along with other school staff have been under-estimated, under-paid and taken for granted for much too long. I will personally make it my business to see that all workers are treated fairly and equally, I will do my utmost to ensure they are respected and valued as the highly committed and essential working forces they are. Aontú, as a party, is committed to economic justice for all and workers’ rights,” concluded Ms Brolly.