Members please find below correspondence from NIPSA Assistant Secretary (Acting) Terry Thomas and Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA, Minister for Communities

Dear Minister

I write to thank you and your colleagues for taking the time to discuss NIPSA concerns around the current threat to Council services and jobs as a result of the pandemic and its impact on Council funding.

NIPSA was reassured by your comments around Coronavirus not being an excuse for redundancies and indeed the point that additional finances allocated to Councils during the pandemic came with conditions, one of which was to protect jobs and services.

I would therefore ask if you could share those conditions as NIPSA would wish to ensure that when negotiating with Councils on this issue we are fully informed.

NIPSA raised the need for regional negotiation on common policies and highlighted the current concerns around Council’s seeking to review Severance and Redundancy Policies with the aim of substantially reducing the previous agreed RPA rate of 3.46% in some cases to as low as 1.75% thereby creating differentials and a post code lottery for employees.

The Minister advised NIPSA that she would be writing to Council’s and associated bodies such as NILGA, SOLACE and the LRA on this issue to seek feedback and clarification around practices and to urge all parties to enter into meaningful regional Negotiations to ensure a fair and equal application of Policies.

NIPSA would therefore respectfully ask the Minister if she could share copies of her communications and correspondence together with any responses to assist us again ensure we can communicate in both an informed and open approach with all interested parties to encourage a common approach on these issues at this most stressful of times.

Terry Thomas 
Assistant Secretary (Acting)