The NIPSA Civil Service Group Executive Committee met on Monday 13th June to consider the content of the 2016 pay claim and decided that the pay claim should contain the following elements:

  1. A 3% increase on all points of all pay scales including the maximum points.
  2. Scale shortening to move in the 2016/17 year to a 3 point pay scale with the longer term view of moving to a single pay point (the maximum of the scale) for each grade.
  3. Those on the maximum should receive a consolidated increase of either a percentage or value amount.
  4. Anyone on temporary promotion should be guaranteed an increase of not less than the quantum applied to all other staff.

In formulating the draft pay claim the Executive Committee was aware that in the past two years successive Ministers have imposed a pay settlement which has been frustrating for NIPSA and for our members. The Executive Committee were also very aware of the decision by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to continue to place a public sector pay cap at 1%, which includes the cost of incremental progression, which effectively means that the negotiations have commenced, as far as Management Side are concerned from that starting point. This has proven very difficult but the Civil Service Executive Committee recognise that we need to do something to break this cycle and believe we need to actively engage with members to seek to fight for a fair pay outcome.

The Executive Committee were also clear that any pay negotiations should not seek to trade or ‘sell-off’ hard won terms and conditions for some meagre pay increase. This is a settled position of the Executive Committee which they are not prepared to acquiesce on.

In considering the quantum for the 2016/17 pay claim the Executive Committee noted that the Treasury’s average forecasts for 2016 and 2017 predict RPI at 2.2% and 2.9% respectively. NIPSA firmly believes that these are justifiable comparators for pay purposes as RPI includes housing costs.

Currently 58% of civil servants are on the maximum of their pay scale and this is expected to rise to around 70% post 2016, rising to over 90% in 2020 it is not unreasonable then to argue for further scale shortening with an ultimate goal of moving to the maximum (ie the rate for the job). This would result in all available resources being available to pay for consolidated increases on the maximum which has been a long held aspiration of the Executive Committee.

Over the past number of years members have seen a further deterioration in their take home pay as a result of pension increases and more laterally national insurance contribution hikes.

The Executive Committee is now, in line with normal practice, requesting the views of branches on the above draft pay claim.

I would be grateful if branches would consult with members on the proposed pay claim and send their views to Karen Wright at NIPSA HQ not later than Monday 18th July 2016. The Civil Service Executive Committee will meet on 19th July 2016 to consider the response from branches after which the 2016 pay claim will be submitted to the Management Side.

Any branch wishing to have a guest speaker attend their meeting to discuss the claim in more detail should contact Aidan McDonnell at NIPSA Headquarters who will make the necessary arrangements.

Alison Millar

General Secretary