NIPSA is aware of ongoing health and safety concerns regarding the safe operation of vehicle lifts across the vehicle testing centres.  We are aware that the testing of heavy vehicles and vehicles pre-booked to the HGV lanes – lane 1 are unaffected but that, as a precautionary measure, the testing of cars on the car lanes has been suspended in 10 centres.  In a number of other centres some testing lanes have been closed.  It is our understanding that the Department for Infrastructure, in conjunction with contractors, are taking steps to inspect all affected lifts and repair where possible but ultimately replace the lifts.  NIPSA is satisfied that this is a proportionate and timely response to protect the health and safety of our members and the public.  We will seek assurances that all the repair work is completed to the satisfaction of all necessary parties before the lifts are used again and will continue to closely monitor any repaired lifts.

Separately to this issue, NIPSA members who work in the testing centres will be on strike tomorrow (Friday 24th) in a continuing dispute over pay and conditions.  The members are angry about below inflation pay increases which have resulted in pay cuts of between 15% and 20% over the last 9 years.  We expect that this strike action will cause further significant disruption to testing across Northern Ireland but trust that the public will be sympathetic to civil servants’ demands for fair pay.

NIPSA, the largest public sector union in Northern Ireland today met with the Finance Minister to press home the case for a pay increase for civil servants.

Alison Millar, NIPSA General Secretary stated:

“The Minister acknowledged the work carried out by thousands of civil servants, particularly when the NI Assembly was not functioning and indicated a desire to seek to resolve the long running NICS Pay, Terms and Conditions Dispute.  He indicated that the NI Executive had met earlier in the day and the issue of the finances was of major concern.  In doing so he indicated he was meeting with the Treasury on Thursday and would be pressing the case for more money for Northern Ireland.  NIPSA made it abundantly clear that civil servants were frustrated and angry that they were not being treated with the same urgency as Health Workers.  He reiterated his desire to seek to resolve the dispute and would not drag his heels in seeking a resolution.   

The Minister further indicated he had given his officials scope to commence the negotiations and NIPSA will engage with the Management Side tomorrow (Thursday) as a first step in seeking to resolve the dispute.  It was made clear however that our action would continue until a resolution of the dispute was secured which would be acceptable to members.” 

In the meantime the one day strike on 24 January 2020 will proceed.

 

Preparations continue for the one day strike already announced for members in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.  It is absolutely imperative that members support this day of strike on 24 January 2020 as it will send a clear signal to the Finance Minister and the newly formed NI Executive and the NI Assembly that we are serious about ensuring NI Civil Servants get the pay rise they deserve. 

It has been recognised by senior political representatives that Civil Servants have kept the country running in the 3 years when they were not in Government.  It is now time for hard working Civil Servants to receive the just outcome for this commitment over the preceding 3 years.

I am attaching to this bulletin a leaflet which I would ask that members read and encourage other members to join the action and encourage non-members to join NIPSA and join the strike this Friday.

Letter to MLAs 

Members should also, if they have not already done so, contact their MLAs using the template letter already circulated, copy of this is available here

This is one small way you can put pressure on our political representatives to get our message out to them that they have a responsibility to resolve this dispute.

Picket Lines 

It is important that on Friday you make every effort to attend the picket line at your workplace or one close to home.  You will have noticed that during the Health Strike on 18 December and other strikes that there were massive picket lines which was a very visual message to the public and the elected representatives that all Health workers were serious about seeking a just outcome for their pay and safe staffing. 

Meeting with Finance Minister

Members may have seen the press release issued by the Finance Minister, Conor Murphy following a phone call with myself on Friday last.  The Minister made it clear that he wanted to have positive engagement with NIPSA in an effort to resolve the dispute.  NIPSA is meeting with the Finance Minister on Wednesday afternoon and we will be putting our case strongly to the Minister why he must seek to resolve this dispute and ensure Civil Servants receive a just outcome after 9 years of below inflation pay increases.  Our demands are simple, an above inflation pay increase and a move to address pay restoration.  We sincerely hope the Minister will react positively to our demands which we will robustly make. 

Meeting with Management Side 

NIPSA also has a meeting late Thursday afternoon with the Management Side negotiating team and we hope that we can now commence serious, meaningful and constructive negotiations.  However this can only happen if they are given the flexibility to engage positively with the money to resolve the dispute. 

Selective Action 

Some members in the Courts Service and PPSNI will be engaged in selective action towards the end of January and through the month of February. 

What Next After Friday 24

NIPSA’s Civil Service Executive Committee are meeting on 30 January to consider and announce the next steps of our campaign. 

Please play your part in ensuring we send a strong message to the Finance Minister and all our political representatives by taking strike action on Friday 24 January.

Alison Millar
General Secretary

 

Attachments:
Download this file (CS Strike - 24 Jan 20 Leaflet.pdf)CS Strike - 24 Jan 20 Leaflet.pdf[ ]204 kB

This circular is to remind Branches of Holocaust Memorial Day which is held on 27 January each year.  This year the main Northern Ireland Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration will take place in Belfast City Hall at 6.30pm on Monday 27 January 2020 and will be hosted by The Executive Office.  This is a free ticketed event.  To reserve a place email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 028 37515033.

Holocaust Memorial Day is about commemorating all the communities who suffered as a result of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, and demonstrating that the Holocaust is relevant to everyone in the world today. 

‘Stand Together’ is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020.  It explores how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.  It is NIPSA’s policy to support Holocaust Memorial Day.

To date the other local events published on the Holocaust Memorial Day website https://www.hmd.org.uk/take-part-in-holocaust-memorial-day/activities/?activity-postcode=Northern+Ireland&activity-type=all are:

 


TITLE AND VENUE

DATE and TIME

Memorial Exhibition – ‘Stand Together’

Bangor Carnegie Library

Tuesday 21 January (12 noon) to Saturday 1 February (12 noon)

 

Mayor’s Video Message

Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council website

Monday 27 January 2020

11.00 am

LGBT Holocaust Memorial & Act of Remembrance

Belfast City Hall

Monday 27 January 2020

2 pm

Holocaust Memorial Event

Ards & North Down Borough Council

Monday 27 January 2020

7.00 pm to 9.00 pm

Anne Frank:  Parallel Stories – Retelling of Ann Frank’s Life (Various Showings listed below)

 

Omniplex Antrim

Omniplex Lisburn

Omniplex Dundonald, Belfast

Omniplex, Newry

Strand Art Centre

Monday 27 January 2020

6.30 pm

Strand Art Centre

Monday 27 January 2020

6.45 pm

Queens Film Theatre

Tuesday 28 January 2020

6.20 pm

Odeon Belfast

Thursday 30 January 2020

6.30 pm

Ghetto Exhibition & Poetry Reading of ‘Ghetto’

The Wolfson Centre

Somerton Road, Belfast

 

 

Tuesday 28 January

7.30 – 9.00 pm

We are checking if there are other events being organised and we will publish any additional events on the NIPSA website.

Alison Millar

General Secretary

The NIPSA Health Central Panel met yesterday, Thursday 16 January, to consider the latest offer on Pay and Safe Staffing.

The Panel had representation from all NIPSA branches covering all Health and Social Care employment areas in attendance. 

After extensive and detailed discussion the following was agreed:

  1. The Panel is recommending that NIPSA members reject Management's Safe Staffing document.
  2. The Panel is recommending that members reject Management's Pay document.
  3. NIPSA will carry out a comprehensive consultation with members in all employment areas.
  4. NIPSA industrial action will continue as follows:
  •  Action short of strike action.
  • Continue to prepare for selective action across employment areas.
  • Suspend our Nurses action in line with the RCN decision.
  • Discuss the 24 January 2020 strike with our Trade Unionist colleagues with a view to setting an alternative date.

NIPSA consultation process will begin next week.  Pay and Safe Staffing documents along with notes will be provided.  Location and details will follow.

If you have any queries please contact your Branch Secretary.

Maria Morgan
Assistant Secretary

.