I am a part-time EO1. I went part-time on return from my last maternity leave, to avoid paying for childcare but, now that they're older, I have been unable to increase my hours in a suitable location. Most of the clothes I buy for myself and my children are second-hand and most of my furniture is from charity shops. I can barely afford a hair cut, never mind a social life. I never go for pub lunches with colleagues, as I don't have enough spare cash. My house needs significant repair work and I can't afford that. It's years since my current account was in the black and I owe more than a year's salary in overdraft, loans and credit card debt, with no realistic expectation of ever getting out of spiralling debt. My husband is an EOII equivalent grade and without him working a ridiculous amount of overtime, we would struggle just to pay utility bills and buy food, but we still can't afford a holiday. The whole situation is depressing.

 

I'm a full time EO1, I'm a single mum with a one year old child. Because I am over the threshold I get no support from child tax credits etc. So my mum who is in her 70s is having to look after my child while I work. If I didn't have this option I would be forced out of a job. If I were to reduce my hours to 18 a week, I would be around £200 a month worse off, which sounds like nothing but is completely unaffordable, its what I try to budget for our shopping each month.

There is no extra money for luxuries, even getting my hair cut or a night out is a struggle. I dread what it is going to be like what my child is up a bit and needs more things. Despite that fact that I am in a "good job" I have had to come to terms with the fact that we are a low income house on 1 wage and life is very tight for us. I work hard in a job with a lot of responsibility to provide for my child but he will probably never have anything other than supermarket or ebay clothes and will likely never know what it's like to have a holiday abroad.

 

As an AO who has reached the top of their scale, we find it a struggle to make ends meet each month. Myself and my wife have recently had our third child, she is now on maternity pay. We receive child benefit, however regularly have to rely on credit cards and indeed family for financial help for many of the necessities of daily family life. We are in a privileged position to have wonderful parents who help with childcare, if this was not the case we would unable to both work full-time. It is obvious that the UK government has decided to run down the public sector here and indeed demoralise those who contribute much to making much needed services available to society here, in the hope that they may sit back and take the hits they keep coming with.
Not anymore, it’s time to fight back.

 

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.

To download a pdf version of this page, scroll to the end of the article.

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%)