Further to my earlier communication on 16 March 2020 I am writing to set out the 2019/20 NICS Pay Offer. Members will be aware that our pay claim submitted in September 2019 was for:
- An above inflation increase on pay and allowances;
- Pay restoration to make up for the years of below inflation pay increases; and
- Further scale shortening.
At the date when the claim was due – ie 1 August 2019 the rate of inflation (CPIH) was 1.7%.
The offer, has been tabled by the Management Side, as approved by the Finance Minister and his Executive colleagues, as a best and final offer possible within the Public Sector Pay policy and current financial pressures.
The terms of the offer are as follows:
The pay offer is a conditional offer requiring Trade Union Side commitment to constructive engagement and joint working to progress the following key issues of reform:
- The removal of TUS objections to the Agile work programme and enhanced engagement between TUS and management on the associated working practices and people issues with a view to progression to further sites.
- Changes to the NICS approach to recruitment and selection including opening and widening applicant pools, use of jobs roles, expansion and development of NICS apprenticeships, and positive action and outreach focusing on underrepresented group and those furthest removed from the labour market.
- Reducing the number of agency workers and overtime levels;
- Reduction in sickness levels with a particular focus on mental health;
- Discontinuation of the current special bonus arrangements;
- Review/development of a range of evidence based policies, interventions and processes relating to matters such as paternity, maternity, flexible working, support for colleagues experiencing domestic violence and abuse, breastfeeding and menopause;
- Introduction of e payslips.
- Agree an approach and implementation plan for the harmonisation of industrial and non-industrial contracted hours and associated pay scales as part of the 2020 pay round.
The overall pay offer would reward staff for the reporting year 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 and would apply from 1 August 2019.
The elements of the offer are as follows:
- All eligible satisfactory performers to receive one step progression with effect from 1 August 2019;
- All points on all pay-scales from minimum to maximum to be revalorised by 2%; and
- Any staff receiving less than a 2% consolidated increase to receive an additional non-consolidated, non-pensionable payment to bring them up to the equivalent value of 2% of their salary at 31 July 2019 (for those in NICS grades who are in receipt of a salary in excess of the maximum, the 2% would be based on the scale maximum. For those on non-NICS pay scales the 2% would be limited to 2% of the equivalent NICS General Service scale maximum).
Other elements of the offer include:
- A 2% increase to apply for all fixed rate pay leads as well as percentage based pay leads with effect from 1 August 2019;
- An increase to the Auditor SO (MIIA and BATS) (CMIIA equivalent) pay lead to align with the SO Accountant pay lead with effect from 1 August 2019; and
- An increase to the Auditor SO (MIIA or BATS) (CIA equivalent) pay lead rate to half of the revised Auditor SO (MIIA and BATS) rate as set out at (e) with effect from 1 August 2019.
The offer is made as a bridge to a future more strategic approach to NICS pay and reward with a view to securing a multi-year budget from 2021/22 and facilitating a multi-year pay deal aligned to an evolving reform plan.
The Civil Service Executive Committee considered the above offer which is worth 2.65% on the pay bill for non-industrial staff in the NICS.
The Civil Service Executive Committee, following detailed consideration of the offer, decided not to make a recommendation but to seek the views of members on whether or not to accept the offer detailed above
The Executive Committee wish to thank all members for taking a determined stand over the last few months.
The Executive Committee also considered how they would consult with members in the current climate with staff working from home, being in self-isolation and potentially suffering from Coronavirus. For that reason the Executive Committee have agreed not to hold Branch Meetings to consider the offer but to ask Branches to email/survey members on the offer. A separate email will be issued to Branch Secretaries to collate the responses which should be returned to NIPSA Headquarters no later than 24 April 2020.