Northern Ireland news

Trade Union demands consultation on council Easter Lilly

Trade Union, NIPSA says Derry City and Strabane District Council must consult its staff before changing policy to permit the wearing of the Easter Lilly at work.
Seamus McKinney

A trade union is demanding that Derry City and Strabane District Council carries out a wide consultation with staff before adopting a proposal to allow the wearing of the East Lilly at work.

The call comes after a council committee voted to allow staff to wear the republican emblem on work clothes. The issue must be ratified by the full council before it is adopted.

However, the proposal has angered unionist councillors who claimed the Easter Lilly was not on a par with the British Legion Poppy. DUP councillor, David Ramsey said unionists saw the Easter Lilly as a symbol of the Provisional IRA.

Sinn Féin councillor, Michael Cooper said the Lilly was a symbol for anyone who lost their lives “in the name of Irish freedom.” Mr Cooper said advice was taken from the Equality Commission and trade unions before the proposal was made.

However, trade union NIPSA said it would be wrong to portray its attendance at a meeting with council as endorsement of the move. Spokesman, Alan Law said NIPSA recommended a full consultation should be carried out before any final decision was made.

Mr Law said: “If they do decide to go forward with any change, we would expect to be fully consulted and also the staff to be consulted because it directly effects the staff who work for Derry City and Strabane District council. We would expect the staff to want to be engaged in that process.”

The NIPSA spokesman said that the trade union was surprised when the proposal was revealed as there had only been one meeting with the organisation.

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