Next Wednesday 15 March 2023 is budget day. In the absence of a functioning Executive, all decisions with regard to the funding of public services across NI are being taken and implemented by the Tory Government via the Secretary of State for NI and the NIO. You will be acutely aware that the UK Government intends to punish public services across NI for allegedly overspending during this financial year, in the absence of an agreed budget, by significantly cutting next year’s budget. Government Departments, who hold the purse strings for ALBs such as the NIHE, are seeking organisations to model and potentially implement cuts of up to 20%. This would devastate public services into the future and can only play into the hands of exploitative privateers. The public funding deficit is also impacting upon the pay negotiations that NIPSA is currently engaged in to secure improvements to your pay, terms and conditions of employment, as detailed in the Local Joint TUS Claim and previous Circulars. These negotiations have recommenced and are ongoing.

That is why NIPSA, together with sister trade unions, has decided to hold a protest outside the offices of the Secretary of State for NI at lunchtime on Budget Day.

The protest will take place on Wednesday 15 March from 12.30pm to 1.30pm at Erskine House, 20-32 Chichester Street, Belfast BT1 4GF. At a joint strike Committee meeting yesterday, our Unite colleagues have signalled their support and advised of their intention to attend this protest.

I would call upon all NIPSA members across the NIHE to show support by attending this protest and bring along NIPSA flags, banners, posters and leaflets to publicise the pay and conditions dispute that we are currently engaged in with our sister union Unite. Please join your NIPSA colleagues, brothers and sisters from other unions from across the public and civil services to demonstrate solidarity and make clear that enough is enough – time to fight back for fair pay and fully funded public services.

I look forward to seeing you there!

In solidarity

Kim Graham
Assistant Secretary and JTUS Lead