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.
(a) A 7% increase on all pay points including the maximum;
(b) A 7% increase on allowances;
(c) A review of all allowances to ensure they are reflective of an appropriate rate given the majority of allowances have not been increased for over 15 years;
(d) Further scale shortening for all scales from AA to Grade 6;
I can report that NIPSA has had an initial meeting with the Management Side to articulate our claim in more detail and consider further the draft terms of reference on a review of allowances.
The claim is justified and realistic as it represents a pay loss in real terms over the last 5 years. Members continue to report that they are struggling to make ends meet with some struggling to pay their rent/mortgage and other essential household bills. In addition other members are reporting a drop in their living standards. So it does not matter whether you are an AA or AO or a Grade 7/6 all members have experienced a significant pay loss since 2013 - the enclosed leaflet demonstrates this clearly with an AA receiving £879.40 less in 2018 had a 7% pay uplift been applied through to a Grade 6 receiving £3,130.33 less - so irrespective of what Grade you are in the NICS - all members have seen a real terms pay cut.
Since 2010 the UK Government, via the Treasury has imposed a pay cap on civil servants and this has meant your pay has fallen far behind the rate of inflation (never mind a real terms pay increase). While we have been told the pay cap is lifted - this is in fact not a reality for civil servants who had a 1% pay increase imposed in 2017/18. In addition we have heard the Prime Minister declare that "austerity is over". Well if austerity is over then there should be no difficulty in NIPSA's justified pay claim being agreed to.
As previously reported NIPSA had financially supported our sister unions FDA, PCS and Prospect in a Judicial Review against the UK Government in the lack of consultation in imposing Treasury Guidance on civil service pay. This guidance stated that the new "pay range" for civil service pay was to be between 1-1.5%. It is very disappointing to report that unfortunately the Judicial Review has been lost. However that does not mean our fight is over - it is only beginning. We are engaging with our sister union on the outcome of the Judicial Review - but NIPSA is strong enough to stand on its own and break this unacceptable "pay range".
The Civil Service Executive Committee have established a Pay Sub-Group to drive forward the campaign and branches will have the opportunity to engage and make suggestions on how we can collectively win this campaign - and that first opportunity will commence at the Civil Service Group Conference on 8 November 2018. I would encourage all branches to ensure they are represented at that Conference.
It is intended that all Executive Committee members will be allocated specific branches to engage with to ensure they have a point of contact and that Executive Committee members will be available to meet with the branches on an ongoing basis to build the campaign as we move forward.
Following the Civil Service Group Conference further information will be released to branches so that meaningful and regular progress can be reported to members to ensure we take all necessary steps to win this justified and realistic pay increase for hard working civil servants.
The Executive Committee look forward to engaging with all branches and members in the coming weeks.
In the meantime please distribute widely the leaflet which you can download from the link below.