An update you on the latest developments regarding NICS 2017/18 pay.
The Civil Service Executive Committee considered the outcome of the Branch consultation exercise on the pay offer tabled by Management Side as outlined in the above bulletin. There was a unanimous rejection of the offer by all branches that responded to the consultation exercise. Therefore the Civil Service Executive Committee in considering the response advised the Management Side that there was an outright rejection of the 1% pay offer and the other elements contained within the offer.
From the responses received it was clear that members are both disappointed and angry with the pay offer including the fact that there is no Minister or Assembly in place to deal with NIPSA’s serious concerns about the lack of progress on pay with members’ pay, year after year, falling further behind with the current rate of inflation at 2.3% having peaked at 3% earlier in the year. NIPSA has written to all political parties on this issue highlighting to them that the lack of an Assembly is having a real and detrimental impact on them in terms of their pay and other issues.
Management Side were informed of the rejection of the offer and it is disappointing to advise that a response has been received indicating that it is the intention of Management Side to implement the pay offer and that they have already been in contact with HR Connect to make arrangements to have the new pay rates and arrears paid to staff as soon as possible and most likely in the July salaries.
For clarity the pay offer was as follows:
- all eligible satisfactory performers to receive one step progression with effect from 1 August 2017;
- all points on pay-scales from minimum to maximum to be revalorised by 1%;
- any eligible staff receiving less than a 1% consolidated increase to receive a non-consolidated, pensionable payment to bring them up to the equivalent value of 1% of their salary (for those in receipt of a salary in excess of the maximum, this would be limited to 1% of the equivalent NICS scale maximum) at 31 July 2017;
- the bottom step of the AO - SO and analogous non-industrial pay-scales to be removed.
Fixed-rate allowances listed in Annex A to be increased by 1% with effect from 1 August 2018. In recognition of the need to review allowances in payment, Management Side commits to commence a review of all allowances during 2018/19 year.
Other Elements of the Claim
Management Side acknowledges Trade Union Side’s concerns about the future of the AA grade and commits to researching this issue further with Departments in order to inform further discussions with Trade Union Side in the 2018/19 year.
Civil Service Executive Committee Position
As indicated in previous communications the Civil Service Executive Committee considered in detail the unique circumstances in which we find ourselves with no political administration in place and no Minister and MLAs to lobby on this important issue. It is now clear that the lack of a political administration is having a direct impact on NIPSA members. NIPSA is therefore calling on all political parties to get back into Government and ensure that our members do not suffer further. NIPSA will over the coming weeks be engaging with members on the 2018/19 pay claim. We must send a clear message that members will not accept a further pay cut and a meagre increase of 1%. The Civil Service Executive Committee will be considering a detailed strategy to ensure that for 2018/19, irrespective of whether we have an Assembly or not, that a campaign will be developed to engage all members in an active campaign to ensure a real and meaningful pay increase is delivered for our members.
During the consultation period NIPSA became aware that for some staff at AA, AO, DP and Grade 7 level the pay offer would result in additional pension payments becoming due because the arrears element of their pay would push them into the next pension tier. This would be for the one month (ie July). NIPSA understands this would range from an additional pension payment of approximately £22 for an AA/AO (some pay points only) to over £100 for some Grade 7 staff. This is not acceptable – why should anyone be asked to pay additional pension contributions because pay negotiations have been severely delayed as a result of the lack of an Assembly. While NIPSA accepts the pension rules will be implemented correctly nonetheless members should not be made to bear the cost. NIPSA has raised this matter with the Management Side and have clearly and unequivocally stated that members cannot be expected to bear this additional cost – which will not add to their pension in retirement. It is just another way of making a further deduction from an already meagre pay increase. NIPSA has sought that members should receive a compensatory ex-gratia payment to deal with this situation. NIPSA has been advised that the Management Side are considering this issue and will respond in due course.