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:
- A 7% increase on all pay points including the maximum;
- A 7% increase on allowances;
- 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; and
- Further scale shortening for all grades AA to Grade 6.
Members will also be aware from the media that without consultation or any engagement with NIPSA the Permanent Secretary of DoF, announced that she had set public sector pay policy for the whole of the public sector in Northern Ireland. In that communication she also indicated that the pay remit for the NICS would be 1%. That was confirmed to NIPSA this morning in the negotiations. NIPSA made it abundantly clear that this was an insult to our members who have worked through very difficult transformation projects, have been flexible in moving to 9 Departments, have suffered a reduction in take home pay because of increased pension and national insurance contributions.
It is clear that the Permanent Secretary, DoF has set herself against any real and meaningful engagement with TUS. This is not acceptable and we made that clear at the meeting this morning.
We have however agreed to have further negotiations in January 2019 in an attempt to break the pay cap and this unacceptable offer. We have also been told by the Prime Minister that austerity is over. It is clear by the 1% offer that austerity remains for NI Civil Servants.
The Civil Service Group Executive Committee have agreed to organise a series of meetings in January on a regional basis and the details of these will be circulated in early January.
I appreciate this is very disappointing news to receive prior to Christmas but it is important that we communicate directly with representatives and members to take forward our just and fair pay campaign.