The Civil Service Group Executive Committee considered the outcome of the branch consultation exercise on the 2020-21 NICS pay claim. Those branches that were able to consult their members have accepted the recommendation of the Executive Committee and the claim, as set out below has been lodged with Management Side today. The claim is a joint claim lodged on behalf of NIPSA and FDA members. This ensures consistency of approach amongst unions represented in the Central Whitley Non-Industrial Trade Unions negotiating structures.
- An above inflation increase on pay and allowances;
- Pay restoration to address pay loss since 2010; and
- Further scale shortening on all pay points.
NIPSA have advised Management Side that although economic uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead may affect the rate of inflation, there is no uncertainty about the real loss that members have faced as a result of below inflation pay awards for more than a decade. We will insist that the focus of our negotiations must be on restoring the value of our pay as well as ensuring we do not suffer any future loss through below inflation awards.
NIPSA have also set out clearly to NICS Management that our members are not prepared to accept conditions attached to the pay offer. NIPSA have and will continue to remind them of the work carried out by Civil Servants and staff in Arms’ Length Bodies over the last few very difficult months as a result of Covid-19. The first class service provided by our members has been acknowledged by politicians, by the Head of the Civil Service and other senior staff. The time has now come, therefore, for such appreciation to be shown in monetary terms as well as in words.
NIPSA, together with other public sector unions, met with the Finance Minister, Conor Murphy on 15 July 2020 to make the case for appropriate pay increases for all civil and public servants. It was made clear to the Minister that civil and public servants must receive a decent pay increase to reflect their value in the provision of public services particularly over the last number of months in the pandemic. He acknowledged and recognized this work which civil and public servants have carried out and indicated the issue of public sector pay would be discussed at the NI Executive in due course. NIC ICTU made it clear that there should not be a hierarchy of the value of different workers across the public sector and that pay restoration is a key element of public sector pay in 2020/21 and beyond. The Finance Minister acknowledged the points made by NIC ICTU and indicated he and his Executive colleagues had not made any determination on NI public sector pay and that in doing so he would take cognizance of the issues raised at the meeting.
A meeting with NICS Management Side has been arranged for later this month at which NIPSA will set out our claim in more detail.
Further bulletins will be issued as negotiations progress. NIPSA will be making it clear that our members will not be dragged into months of start/stop negotiations. The pay increase was due from 1 August 2020 and should be negotiated and agreed without delay so that members receive their pay increase soon and not 11 months after it was due which has been the situation in the past two years.