The circumstances in which you are taking your Christmas break this year are far from ideal. Public sector pay and the funding for services has still not been secured but I think you will agree it is positive that, as a result of your action, public sector pay is at the top of the list of the funds coming from the Treasury.
Of course, we do not yet have the detail and we do not know what is included in the money allocated for pay, but it is essential that civil and public servants receive the pay rise they deserve as soon as possible, and that above inflation pay rises will be paid in future years.
It is within the gift of the Secretary of State to pass the money to the Department of Finance immediately and we are calling on him to do that without further delay. We do not need an Assembly to make pay awards. NIPSA stands ready in all areas – Civil Service, Education and Health – to sit down with the employers and negotiate on the appropriate pay.
If that money is not made available, then NIPSA also stands ready to take strike action along with all other public sector unions on 18 January in generalised action. It is right that civil and public sector workers stand up for themselves and stand together on picket lines to fight for what is needed.
Further bulletins will be issued in the next year. In the meantime, I wish you and your families a merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.