The Department of Finance has today published the 2019/20 Pay Remit for public sector workers. The announcement effectively means that the austerity agenda continues with no change to pay policy for 2019/20. Effectively this would mean that public sector workers whether they be civil servants, heath workers, education workers etc. will have their pay increase capped at a below inflation level for the tenth year in a row. This is totally unacceptable and does not auger well for industrial relations across the public sector.

Members in the NICS are currently engaged in industrial action on the issue of pay, terms and conditions and our members in the Health Service will be receiving their ballot papers next week on the issue of pay and safe staffing levels. As members will be also be aware, teachers have been engaged in industrial action for a number of years and have not had a pay increase since 2016.

This is another slap in the face for hard working civil and public servants who have continued to deliver vital public services in the absence of the NI Assembly. I have no doubt this announcement will further anger members and strengthen their resolve to fight for decent pay and a fair increase.

NIPSA will consider carefully our next steps, in consultation with our members, but members can be assured we will be using the General Election as an opportunity to challenge candidates standing in that election about what they will do to ensure that public sector workers get a fair and decent pay increase. NIPSA is also raising this matter directly with the NI Select Committee at Westminster. Yours sincerely

Alison Millar
General Secretary