Redundancy risk for staff who help others find work

Diane Ratfield from Roe Valley Education Forum, Picture Martin McKeown. 1.2.1. LV5-426MMCK
Diane Ratfield from Roe Valley Education Forum, Picture Martin McKeown. 1.2.1. LV5-426MMCK

Staff whose job is to help unemployed people find work are now at risk themselves of becoming unemployed, the Sentinel has learned.

Staff at the Roe Valley Education Forum, working in the Community Services office at Dowland Road in Limavady, have been “advised they are likely to be made redundant in May.”

Public sector workers’ union NIPSA had this to say about the risk of redundancies: “This news comes as a complete shock to the dedicated staff who have been employed to develop and implement programmes of work and training for the long-term unemployed.

“NIPSA is calling on the management of the RVEF to begin meaningful consultations with the union and to fully disclose all information relating to the redundancy threat.”

NIPSA HQ Official, Alan Law commented: “NIPSA is demanding that management withdraw the threat of redundancy and embark on meaningful negotiations to resolve this matter.

“We are calling for full transparency and release of all information relating to the possible redundancies. We do not accept that the case has been made to make anyone redundant and are demanding that this threat is withdrawn immediately.”

General manager of the Roe Valley Community Education Forum, Diane Rathfield, said: “Roe Valley Community Education Forum has regretfully completed the redundancy consultation process with the community services department and its staff. The manager and executive committee regret the situation, which is beyond their control.”

Ms Rathfield denied that the news had come as a “complete shock” to staff, pointing out that the Roe Valley Education Forum had “completed a full consultation process”. She added that redundancies had been avoided after an earlier consultation process and that this now represents the second consultation with staff. Ms Rathfield said: “The first time we did a consultation we were able to avoid redundancies. These are unavoidable measures we have had to take and we have completed a full and transparent process.”