NIPSA, the largest public sector union in Northern Ireland has called a strike of thousands of civil servants on Friday 24 January to press the case for a decent pay increase for civil servants and to say loudly hands off our terms and conditions of employment.
Alison Millar, NIPSA General Secretary stated
“Members across the Northern Ireland Civil Service will be on a one day strike on Friday 24 January. Members are angry that they have not had a resolution to their long running dispute on the issue of pay, terms and conditions. Civil Servants were further angered when there was no mention in the “New Decade, New Deal” document of seeking to settle the civil service dispute yet specific reference was made to the Health Workers and Teachers’ Disputes. Further anger arose yesterday given the announcement that MLAs who have not been at their place of work for the last 3 years were to receive a £1000 pay increase with a further increase in April 2020.
NIPSA did meet with the Finance Minister on Wednesday evening and he acknowledged the work carried out by thousands of civil servants, particularly when the NI Assembly was not functioning and indicated a desire to seek to resolve the long running NICS Pay, Terms and Conditions Dispute. He indicated that the NI Executive had met earlier in the day and the issue of the finances was of major concern. In doing so he indicated he was meeting with the Treasury on Thursday and would be pressing the case for more money for Northern Ireland. NIPSA made it abundantly clear that civil servants were frustrated and angry that they were not being treated with the same urgency as Health Workers. He reiterated his desire to seek to resolve the dispute and would not drag his heels in seeking a resolution.
The Minister further indicated he had given his officials scope to commence the negotiations and NIPSA will engage with the Management Side today as a first step in seeking to resolve the dispute. It was made clear however that our action would continue until a resolution of the dispute was secured which would be acceptable to members.”
In the meantime the one day strike on 24 January 2020 will proceed with some of the areas affected being Jobs and Benefits Offices, Universal Credit Processing Centres, Rating Offices, Veterinary Officers, Meat Inspectors, DAERA Direct Offices, Public Prosecution Service, Tribunals and many other civil service areas.