asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the impact in Northern Ireland of the campaign by civil servants for improved wages and conditions.
The campaign of industrial action by Northern Ireland civil servants had its most serious impact during week commencing 13 April when Northern Ireland was affected by the trade union's regional programme of strike action.During that week 10 out of 34 social security offices plus two other central benefit offices were closed on Monday to Wednesday. This increased to 33 social security offices being closed on the Thursday and Friday. In addition, a number of Department of Economic Development job markets had to be closed. On the Monday to Wednesday the level of absence on strike action within the selected DHSS Offices was marginally in excess of 80 per cent. On the Thursday and Friday the overall level of absence across all departments was around 35 per cent.The major effect of this industrial action in the community was that a significant number of people did not receive their social security benefits during the week in question.