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Civil service strike: Nipsa members protest over pay


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Civil service strike: Nipsa members protest over pay

Image caption Nipsa members outside the Child Maintenance Service office in Belfast on Friday morning Thousands of civil servants in Northern Ireland are expected to take part in another strike about pay and working conditions on Friday.The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa) said the workers have had a below-inflation pay rise for nine years.It…

Civil service strike: Nipsa members protest over pay

Nipsa members on strike

Image caption

Nipsa members outside the Child Maintenance Service office in Belfast on Friday morning

Thousands of civil servants in Northern Ireland are expected to take part in another strike about pay and working conditions on Friday.

The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa) said the workers have had a below-inflation pay rise for nine years.

It said members wanted the assembly to treat them with the “same urgency as health workers”.

The action follows a similar strike in July 2019.

Friday’s strike will affect: Jobs and Benefits Offices, Universal Credit Processing Centres, rates offices, some veterinary offices, meat inspectors, DAERA direct offices, the Public Prosecution Service and tribunals and some staff at vehicle testing centres.

Nipsa General Secretary Alison Millar said: “Civil Servants were further angered when there was no mention in the “New Decade, New Deal” document of seeking to settle the civil service dispute, yet specific reference was made to the health workers and teachers’ disputes.”

She added that the union had met Finance Minister Conor Murphy on Wednesday, who “acknowledged the work carried out by thousands of civil servants, particularly when the NI assembly was not functioning”.

Image caption

Alison Millar said strike action would continue until a resolution which is acceptable to Nipsa members

Ms Millar said Mr Murphy told them he would be meeting the Treasury on Thursday to press for more money for Northern Ireland.

“He reiterated his desire to seek to resolve the dispute and would not drag his heels in seeking a resolution.”

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, Mr Murphy said he received a “warm reception” from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak, as they discussed the government’s financial offer to the executive.

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Nipsa said it will engage with management at the Department of Finance on Friday “as a first step to resolve the dispute”, but added it would continue action until a resolution was secured “which would be acceptable to members”.

Image caption

Nipsa members pictured during their strike in July 2019

During the previous action in July 2019 Stormont’s Department of Finance said the pay rise received by staff was “fair in the context of the challenging financial environment”.

The Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) is one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers, with more than 23,000 permanent staff.

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