I am an AO in the Civil Service. I am a single parent and work 30 hours per week.

Currently my childcare is £250 every 4 weeks for my one child for just a few hours every week and my rent is £550 a month.

Because I choose to work I am above the earning threshold for a lot of the government assistance/benefits and I get the lower rate of tax credits.

I have mental health problems which are exacerbated by the fact that I spend a fair bit of time worrying about money and where I will get the money to eat for the next week or to stop the electric alarm going off. I rely heavily on the goodness of friends and family to help support me.

I love my job and was lucky enough to be successful in the EOII promotion boards however I was interviewed almost a year ago and have still not been placed.

I feel that my employer does not value the work I do or the effort my colleagues and I put in. This was reflected in another despicable pay offer. I have checked with the local supermarkets and I could work shifts for them and be earning more than what I am now. The difference is in a supermarket I would be stacking shelves – In my current Civil Service role I am dealing with vulnerable and sometimes suicidal customers. A move out of the public sector is something I am now having to consider.

I would urge all members to join us on the 26th July to show our employer: We Want More, We Need More, We Deserve More.

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Why are we taking industrial action including strike action?

Inflation is running at 2%. You have received a 1.25% pay increase and this has been imposed for the 3rd successive year. In the past 10 years, below inflation pay awards have eroded your pay in real terms by between 10% and 20%. The NICS pay awards have been far below recent awards to other public sector workers.

NIPSA Announces a Full Day Strike on 26 July 2019

Further to the article Staff Officer/Deputy Principal Competition posted on dated 24 June 2019 I can confirm the result of the Industrial Action Ballot as follows: 

Are you prepared to take part in industrial action consisting of a strike?

Number of ballot papers returned 5,937
Number of ballot papers found to be invalid 114
Total number of ballot papers to be counted 5823
Number voting Yes
3,991 (68.5%)
Number voting No 1,832 (31.5%)