I have received a number of enquiries regarding the removal of the NICS Special Bonus
Scheme effective from today. NIPSA’s policy, which was established a number of years
ago via the Civil Service Group Conference, was that NIPSA was and remains opposed to
the Special Bonus Scheme as it was divisive and secretive and in some areas staff
received a bonus payment on a fairly regular basis and other staff never received or had
an opportunity to receive such a payment.
Therefore, when the Management Side wrote to NIPSA early in 2021 against the backdrop
of our existing policy and having consulted the Civil Service Executive Committee and
Seconded Officers, which is the normal practice, I responded to Management Side
indicating our agreement to the removal of the Special Bonus Scheme but on the proviso
that the 0.2% of Departmental discretionary spend on the payment would be made
available this year and subsequent years as part of the annual pay negotiations.
However, Management Side responded indicating that this was not their intention.
As you know the 2020/21 pay award has not been agreed to date and NIPSA are
continuing to make the argument that albeit is a small amount of resources it is important
that the money is part of the pot of resources towards annual pay negotiations.
I hope this clarifies the position for members.