As members will be aware NIPSA lodged the 2019/20 NICS Pay Claim on 16 September 2019 following a branch consultation exercise. The claim lodged was as follows:
- An above inflation pay increase on both pay and allowances;
- Pay restoration to address the pay loss since 2010; and
- Further scale shortening for all scales from AA to Grade 6.
To date other than a joint meeting involving the Industrial and Non-Industrial Unions held on 24 September to open the 2019/20 pay negotiations there have been no negotiations.
As members will be aware the Department of Finance, Permanent Secretary set the Public Sector Pay Remit on 31 October 2019. Since then several meetings of the Central Whitley Pay and Grading Sub-Committee have been cancelled by the Management Side on the basis they did not have a remit to commence negotiations.
A meeting was scheduled for 20 December 2019. Trade Union Side cancelled this meeting on the basis we were advised the day before that the issue of NICS pay was still the subject of discussion between the Department of Finance Permanent Secretary and NICS Board colleagues in the context of the political talks and the setting of the budget for Northern Ireland. Trade Union Side took the view there was no point in a meeting if the reality was there was nothing to discuss.
It is a disgrace that over 5 months after a pay increase was due no negotiations have taken place. It appears that the NICS Board, the Department of Finance, Permanent Secretary and others care nothing for hard working civil servants who deserve a decent pay increase.
The Civil Service Group Executive Committee are scheduled to meet on 10 January 2020 to discuss the campaign on all elements of the dispute. A further article will issue thereafter.