NI Water Supply Interruption 'Inevitable'

Union representatives have said interruptions to supplies, as well as slower responses to problems regarding NI's water network over the Christmas period will be "inevitable".

The announcement comes as hundreds of NI Water staff prepare to stage industrial action over a long running pensions dispute.

Earlier this week, members of NIPSA, Unite and the GMB unions voted to go ahead with 'work-to-rule', and the withdrawal of overtime and on-call services. Talks were then held with Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy on Wednesday, but it has now emerged that the unions rejected what they said was "minor concessions" given forward by NI Water's management.

As a result, industrial action will now go ahead from Monday (22 December).

Ryan McKinney, Assistant Secretary, NIPSA, is quoted as saying: "Northern Ireland Water have 2,700 treatment works and pumping stations, so it's inevitable that there will be a supply interruption as a consequence of there being no on-call facility, no voluntary overtime and no emergency service provided.

"From Christmas Eve, there won't be staff available during the day – that service would have been provided through voluntary overtime, but those people won't be volunteering so there will be a much slower response to any faults or supply interruption."

In a statement from NI Water, the firm said: "We fully recognise the rights of employees to consider industrial action but regrets such action has been called at this time.

"NI Water remains committed to trying to resolve the issues at hand and continues to offer ongoing engagement with TU colleagues. We can assure the public, however, that the provision of safe, clean drinking water and wastewater services remains a priority for the company and its staff who will continue to work to mitigate any potential impact on customers."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 September 2021
Senior Nurse Jailed For Defrauding Employer Of More Than £10,000
A senior nurse has pleaded guilty to defrauding Southern Health and Social Care Trust of more than £10,000. Cherith Douglas entered guilty pleas to a total of 12 offences - eight of fraud by false representation and four of false accounting, all committed on various dates between April 11 2015 and May 5 2017.
01 September 2021
Infrastructure Minister Welcomes Completion Of School Safety Improvements
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has welcomed the completion of a scheme to provide enhanced crossing facilities and improve road safety on Holywood Road, Belfast. The Minister met with the pupils and staff from Mitchell House Special School to view the upgraded PUFFIN crossing which is used regularly by the school community.
19 September 2001
Water Service moves to prevent cryptosporidium contamination
DRD Water Service has made substantial progress in implementing a series of recommendations designed to prevent a repeat outbreak of cryptosporidium in the public water supply. The measures were outlined in a recently published report into the cryptosporidium contamination that occurred at Dunore Point water supply earlier this year.
06 September 2021
New FinTrU North West Assured Skills Academy Launches
A new FinTrU North West Assured Skills Academy offering 20 high quality training places for people with degrees has been launched in Northern Ireland. The Assured Skills Academy will offer a four-week intensive training course with North West Regional College and Ulster University to develop core skills for the business services sector.
04 February 2005
SF and DUP back Water Service staff strike
Sinn Fein and the DUP have lent their weight to plans by Water Service staff to go on strike next Wednesday over proposals to reform the service in Northern Ireland.