Fears voiced over health jobs at County Hall

Administrative workers based at the health trust offices in County Hall fear that their workplace will be relocated to Belfast, according to local representatives.

The County Hall. BT49-005JM.

Now Robin Swann, the Ulster Unionist MLA and TUV leader Jim Allister have challenged the DUP Health Minister to reveal if health trust staff will not be moved out.

Assemblyman Swann said it would be a ‘massive slap’ in the face to health workers following the recent Rally for a Future if the Health Minister responded to the Ballymena job loss crisis by axing even more posts from the town.

Mr Swann said: “I have been contacted by constituents deeply concerned at the Minister’s decision to close the Health and Social Care Board which could lead to widespread job relocation over the next 18 months.

“While the board staff have been informed that their roles will be transferred to the health department, Public Health Agency, or local health trusts, there is a genuine fear that County Hall staff will have their jobs shifted to Belfast. There are somewhere in the region of almost 140 staff currently employed at County Hall in the board and other health posts.

“We cannot afford to lose these posts to Belfast on top of the jobs that have been lost, or will be axed in the coming months, otherwise Ballymena will earn the unwanted title of Northern Ireland’s economic wasteland,” said Assemblyman Swann.

And Mr. Allister added: “The Minister needs to make clear what his plans are for the staff so they are aware of their options. While I understand that the staff will transfer either into the Department, Public Health Agency or local Health Trust, it is crucial they remain in Ballymena.To that end I have written to the Minister and submitted written questions for answer.”