In normal circumstances a major economic set piece such as the Spring statement or Budget would be a central political event.  That yesterday's Spring statement does not attract such focus reflects both the dominance of the parliamentary "theatre" surrounding Brexit and the lack of original economic thinking within the UK Government.

It is important however that what the Spring statement says or more significantly fails to say, is not lost.  This statement shows that despite last year's rhetoric from the Conservative Government that "austerity is over" the same zombie economics is still on the menu.  Even more cynical is the fact that while its political choices are framed by the falsehood that "there is not enough money" to do what needs to be done, it is clear that when political survival is required (either for "confidence and supply" or to offer MPs infrastructure funding for their area in return for a pro-Government vote on a Brexit deal) money can always be found.

The continuing dysfunction at Westminster, the lack of a local Assembly and the absence of proper scrutiny on decisions made by Senior Civil Servants that affect the lives of our members and their families makes it essential that NIPSA and the wider Trade Union movement continue to highlight and fight against this long term attack on our public services (job insecurity, stagnant pay and underfunding) and the social security system (that is chipping away at the universal provisions of the welfare state).

Alison Millar
General Secretary

The following is a brief update on 2018-19 NICS Pay Negotiations.  The first formal meeting on NICS pay was held this morning with Management Side.

NIPSA robustly set out our position and the rationale for our pay claim as follows:

NIPSA's Civil Service Executive Committee have considered the current and ongoing Transformation of NICS ICT Services and have a range of concerns about the provision of ICT Services in the NICS and the impact of centralisation on Departments.

Please find attached a consultation document covering two issues as follows:

Consultation of Rectification of the Cost Cap Floor Breach

As part of the review of the NICS Pension Scheme as required as part of the 3 yearly valuation of the Scheme it has been identified that the 'floor' has been breached and this needs to be rectified to ensure it brings the scheme cost back to the target of 18.3%.  NIPSA has had engagement via the NICS Pensions Forum and following that engagement and advice from the Scheme Advisory Board it is proposed to address this via two proposals as follows:

NIPSA lodged the following pay claim for NICS members on 20 September following the member consultation carried out over the summer months and consideration by the Civil Service Group Executive Committee.

The NIPSA Civil Service Group Annual Delegate Conference Agenda 2018 ...