Further to earlier NIPSA communications I can advise NIPSA has received the following pay offer effective from 1 August 2018.  The offer is set out below:

The elements being proposed are as follows: 

  1. all eligible satisfactory performers to receive one step progression with effect from 1 August 2018;

  2. all AA and analogous pay scales to be revalorised by 3%;

  3. all points on all pay scales at AO analogous and above from minimum to maximum to be revalorised by 1.25%;

  4. any staff receiving less than a 1.25% consolidated increase to receive an additional non consolidated, non pensionable payment to bring them up to the equivalent value of 1.25% of their salary at 31 July 2018 (for those in NICS grades who are in receipt of a salary in excess of the maximum, the 1.25% would be based on the scale maximum.  For those on non-NICS pay scales the 1.25% would be limited to 1.25% of the equivalent NICS General Service scale maximum).

This is an extremely disappointing pay offer given the engagement that has taken place over the last number of months both with Management Side and through engagement with a range of political parties.

It is clear that the Public Sector Pay Policy set by the Department of Finance Permanent Secretary has had a significant downward pressure on any negotiations that have taken place over the past few months.  In fact given the pay remit set by the Permanent Secretary, DoF left little wriggle room for any negotiations to realistically take place.

As members will be aware the Public Sector Pay Policy and in turn the Pay Remit for the NICS was set with a limit of 1%.  The Management Side have indicated that the overall package as set out above is worth 2.05% on the NICS paybill.

The Civil Service Group Executive Committee has considered the pay offer and is recommending rejection of the offer.  In recommending rejection of the offer the Executive Committee are also recommending that NIPSA immediately move to seek the necessary approvals to conduct an industrial action ballot.  The industrial action ballot will cover not just the meagre and insulting pay offer - making Northern Ireland Civil Servants the worst treated public sector workers in Northern Ireland, but also the decision by Management Side to seek to move to external corporate competitions for Staff Officer and Deputy Principal posts without serious and meaningful negotiation with NIPSA.  A separate bulletin is being issued to cover the detail of NIPSA's response to this issue.

It is clear the landscape has significantly changed and the NICS Board and Management Side have sought to seriously undermine the agreed industrial relations processes.  NIPSA and our members cannot stand idly by and accept this meagre pay offer together with other serious attacks on your terms and conditions without serious and meaningful resistance.

Branches are now asked to immediately organise a Branch Meeting to discuss the offer and the other attacks on your pay, terms and conditions and to engage with members on a campaign to deliver meaningful opposition to the offer.

If you require a speaker for your Branch Meeting please contact either This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will liaise with the Executive Committee members and HQ Officials to provide a speaker.  Please give as much notice as possible to ensure a speaker can be secured.

The Civil Service Group Executive Committee Pay Campaign Sub-Committee will be meeting regularly to drive forward the campaign.

Alison Millar
General Secretary

Further to NIPSA Bulletin B-3-19 issued on 14 March 2019 I am writing to advise members on the actions taken to date.

NIPSA met with the Management Side on 4 April 2019 and one of the key issues on the agenda for the meeting was the proposal to move to an external competition for Deputy Principal and Staff Officer.  Members will be aware from the earlier bulletin that NIPSA demanded that these proposals were put on hold until a formal meeting was held.  It is very disappointing and frustrating to report that the Management Side really had no response and advised they would need to speak to the Strategic HR Director for NICSHR.

It is clear that Management Side are intending to proceed irrespective of the legitimate concerns raised by TUS a decision which has rightfully angered NIPSA members.

NIPSA is aware that Management Side continue to prepare at a pace to externally recruit at Staff Officer and Deputy Principal levels which again is in breach of the principles of Central Whitley.

As a direct result I have written to the Strategic HR Director NICSHR advising that TUS wish to register disagreement on the proposal for the External Corporate Competitions and that we now expect these competitions to be put on hold.

NIPSA have agreed that there is supply at DP level arising out of the 2013 competition.  While NIPSA accepts there may be some equality issues given the length of time since the competition we have argued that given there are 250 on the list and there are almost 300 vacancies at this level then this list could be used in tandem with an internal recruitment exercise.  To date Management Side continue to reject this argument.

TUS were also alarmed to hear that in at least one Department (DfC) Management Side were seeking expressions of interest for volunteers AO (Operational Delivery).  It is NIPSA's view that members should not become involved in this process as it would undermine our objectives of retaining one Grade at AO level which is a primary entry level to the NICS.

Given the seriousness of this and other issues NIPSA has written to the Head of the Civil Service regarding consultation and negotiation and ongoing breaches of Central Whitley.  An urgent meeting has been sought with HOCS and/or the NICS so that we can address our concerns at the highest level.

Further bulletins will issue in due course.

Alison Millar

General Secretary

As part of the 2017-18 NICS pay settlement it was agreed that there would be a review of Fixed Rate Allowances.  As members will recall allowances were up-rated by 1% with effect from 1 August 2018.

NIPSA have been involved in extensive negotiations over the last number of months in agreeing the Terms of Reference for the Review of Fixed Rate Allowances and also substantive negotiations on allowances.

I am attaching the Final Offer from the Management Side on the Review of Allowances.  You will note that the percentage increase differs across the various allowances ranging from a 1% increase in Skills Type Allowance set out at Annex C to 20% for On-Call Allowances set out at Annex A with other rates of increases of 2% and 5% set out in Annex A1, B and C.

As members will be aware the 2018-19 pay claim was for 7% increase on all allowances and while for on-call allowances we have achieved in excess of our claim, we have not achieved that for other allowances.  The Civil Service Group Executive Committee are committed to continue our fight for further increases in future years.

This final offer has been considered in detail by NIPSA's Civil Service Executive Committee and the Executive Committee are recommending reluctant acceptance on the basis that this is the best that can be achieved through negotiations.

Branches are now asked to hold Branch Consultation meetings with their members on this offer and respond to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 10 May 2019.

Alison Millar

General Secretary

 

Attachments:
Download this file (B-4-19 Annexe A-C.pdf)B-4-19 Annexe A-C[ ]992 kB

Civil Service Executive Committee Recommend Acceptance

As part of the 2017/18 NICS pay settlement it was agreed that there would be a review of Fixed Rate Allowances. As members will recall allowances were up-rated by 1% with effect from 1st August 2018.

Please find attached the revised Salary Bands and Percentage Contribution Rates for all members of the NICS Pension Schemes for the year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

Alison Millar
General Secretary
Attachments:
Download this file (Employee Contribution Rates - 1 April 2019.pdf)Employee Contribution Rates - 1 April 2019.pdf[Employee Pension Contribution Rates]190 kB

In normal circumstances a major economic set piece such as the Spring statement or Budget would be a central political event.  That yesterday's Spring statement does not attract such focus reflects both the dominance of the parliamentary "theatre" surrounding Brexit and the lack of original economic thinking within the UK Government.

It is important however that what the Spring statement says or more significantly fails to say, is not lost.  This statement shows that despite last year's rhetoric from the Conservative Government that "austerity is over" the same zombie economics is still on the menu.  Even more cynical is the fact that while its political choices are framed by the falsehood that "there is not enough money" to do what needs to be done, it is clear that when political survival is required (either for "confidence and supply" or to offer MPs infrastructure funding for their area in return for a pro-Government vote on a Brexit deal) money can always be found.

The continuing dysfunction at Westminster, the lack of a local Assembly and the absence of proper scrutiny on decisions made by Senior Civil Servants that affect the lives of our members and their families makes it essential that NIPSA and the wider Trade Union movement continue to highlight and fight against this long term attack on our public services (job insecurity, stagnant pay and underfunding) and the social security system (that is chipping away at the universal provisions of the welfare state).

Alison Millar
General Secretary