Committee for Finance and Personnel Report (2007-2011 Mandate)

Correspondence Relating to Northern Ireland Civil Service Equal Pay Settlement

Assembly Section

Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont
BT4 3SX
Tel No: 02890 529147
Fax No: 02890 529148
email: Norman.Irwin@dfpni.gov.uk

Mr Shane McAteer
Clerk
Committee for Finance and Personnel
Room 419
Parliament Buildings
Stormont

2 June 2008

Dear Shane

The Finance and Personnel Committee have requested a written submission outlining the background to the equal pay issue in the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS).

1. An outline of the position.

The Equal Pay Act (NI) 1970 provides that women and men must receive equal pay if they are employed on “like work” (work which is similar in the ordinary sense of the word), “work rated as equivalent” (work assessed as being of equal value in a proper job evaluation exercise) and “work of equal value” (where a Tribunal concludes that work is of equal value).

Equal pay issues are not new to large public sector organisations. Over recent years, there have been a growing number of actions taken against public sector employers in relation to equal pay.

It has been recognised for some time that there are equal pay issues in the NICS arising out of the legacy of complex pay structures which date back over many years. The general strategy to address equal pay issues has been to attempt to work equal pay vulnerabilities out of the system by means of the annual pay awards. However, addressing an equal pay issue in relation to any particular grade can be very expensive, and the constraints imposed by successive annual pay remits over many years have militated against completely removing all equal pay vulnerabilities.

In 2007 NIPSA lodged equal pay questionnaires with Departments on behalf of 47 staff as sample cases for approximately 9,000 Administrative Assistants (AA) and Administrative Officers (AO), using the Technical Grade I and Technical Grade II grades as comparators. An equal pay questionnaire is the first step in a judicial process that could result in the lodgement of an Industrial Tribunal claim. Officials in the Department have been examining both the questionnaires and, more importantly, a large amount of historical information contained in individual Departments’ files with a view to developing responses to the questionnaires. During this period legal advice on the issues raised has been taken from the Departmental Solicitor’s Office and from Senior and Junior Counsel.

2. The issues involved.

The Minister for Finance and Personnel, acknowledging the period during which this issue has remained outstanding, has instructed officials urgently to engage with NIPSA with a view to discussing how the issue might be resolved. There are two main aspects to this. By way of context, an Industrial Tribunal, in making an equal pay award against an employer, would typically award six years back pay, from the date on which claims are lodged, to the staff affected. The first issue to resolve is therefore back pay and this will require detailed discussions with NIPSA and ideally an updated and comprehensive job evaluation survey of all relevant grades before decisions are taken by Ministers on this aspect. The exact amount involved will be determined by Ministers following the conclusion of discussions between officials and NIPSA and a detailed investigation of the individual circumstances of all the affected staff.

The second issue to be resolved is how to deal with equal pay issues for the affected grades in the future. This is likely to prove to be a very complex issue, and an up to date job evaluation survey of those grades in the NICS where there may be an equal pay issue would be an obvious starting point. Precisely how this issue will be addressed will be a matter for Ministers following discussions with the trade unions.

3. The proposed way forward and timescale.

Officials in the Department have been examining potential options to resolve this issue. Central Personnel Group has been in contact with Central Trade Union side to set up a meeting of the Central Whitley Pay, Allowances and Grading Committee to commence the necessary discussions.

Although more work is required to establish precisely the public expenditure implications of addressing these issues, it is clear that the costs will be material.

Yours sincerely,

NORMAN IRWIN

 

Assembly Section

Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont
BT4 3SX
Tel No: 02890 529147
Fax No: 02890 529148
email: Norman.Irwin@dfpni.gov.uk

Mr Shane McAteer
Clerk
Committee for Finance and Personnel
Room 419
Parliament Buildings
Stormont

24 November 2009

Dear Shane

Following its meeting on 4th November 2009, you wrote on behalf of the Committee for Finance and Personnel to request an update on the ongoing NICS equal pay issue.

Following extensive negotiations between Management and Trade Union Sides of the Central Whitley Council (NI), proposals have been developed for settlement of the equal pay claims submitted by NIPSA on behalf of Administrative Assistant, Administrative Officer, Executive Officer II and their analogous grades.

Approval to a proposal to settle the claims has now been received from Ministers and Management Side has sent the formal proposal to Trade Union Side. A copy of the letter to NIPSA setting out the proposal is attached at Annex A. Management Side now awaits Trade Union Side's formal response to the proposal, although the Union has publicly stated that it has decided to make a recommendation that union members should accept the proposals as a basis to settle the claims before the Industrial Tribunal.

Your letter of 6th November also asks for clarification on the position in respect of the TG1 and TG2 grades. To explain the position, members of these Technical grades have not submitted equal pay claims, but are being cited by other grades as comparators for the purposes of their equal pay claims. As such, Technical grades are not part of the proposals made to Trade Union Side and are not part of any settlement.

At the 4th November meeting, the Committee also sought clarification on progress in publishing the equal pay audit report mentioned in paragraph 5.8 of the NICS Equality and Diversity Plan. Paragraph 5.8 notes that an equal pay audit report was due to be published in November 2008, with the development of an agreed action plan by early 2009. This report has been delayed pending the outcome of negotiations with Trade Union Side (TUS) on the equal pay claims currently the subject of legal proceedings. Once the outcome of the equal pay claims is known and the 2009 NICS pay award is agreed with Trade Union Side and implemented, it is intended that another equal pay audit will be carried out.

Since the last equal pay audit was carried out, events have overtaken us in terms of equal pay cases having been lodged. Since these are still the subject of legal proceedings and the negotiations with TUS are ongoing, any potential outcome of those cases/negotiations may make the previous Equal Pay audit report out of date. As noted above, once the outcome of the equal pay claims is known and the 2009 NICS pay award is agreed with Trade Union Side and implemented, another audit will be undertaken to provide the Department with more accurate information.

Yours sincerely,

NORMAN IRWIN sig

NORMAN IRWIN

Annex A

Director
Corporate HR

Royston House
Upper Queen Street
BELFAST BT1 6FD
Telephone No: (028) 90547479
Internal No: 47479
E-mail: Derek.baker@dfpni.gov.uk

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Mr John Corey
General Secretary
NI Public Service Alliance
Harkin House
54 Wellington Park
BELFAST
BT9 6DP

23 November 2009

Dear John

NI Civil Service: Proposed Resolution of Equal Pay Claims

Following our extensive negotiations, which were undertaken on a without prejudice basis, the Department of Finance and Personnel is now able to confirm a proposal for a settlement of all the equal pay claims submitted by NIPSA on behalf of Administrative Assistants, Administrative Officers, Executive Officer IIs and all their analogous/related grades. This proposal is based on achieving the settlement of all the potential equal pay claims from all members of those grades including male claimants.

The Department's outline terms for settlement are set out in the attached document. The Department's proposal, if accepted by NIPSA on behalf of its members in the affected grades, will require a firm commitment from NIPSA that it will not support any tribunal claims relating to these issues which might be brought or continued by individual employees who fail to accept the terms of the proposed settlement. The proposal aims to settle existing and potential claims up to the present date and any potential claims into the future up to 31 December 2011. This is to allow time for NIPSA and management to complete a comprehensive pay and grading review within the NICS.

The Department wants to work with NIPSA to draw up appropriate agreements, with the assistance of legal representatives from both sides, with a view to discontinuing the equal pay claims currently before the industrial tribunal. These agreements will have to be individually signed by each actual and potential claimant in the affected grades.

The offer remains "without prejudice" for the purposes of the legal proceedings.

DEREK BAKER sig

DEREK BAKER

Outline Terms for Settlement of Equal Pay Claims

1. Purpose

1.1 This document outlines a proposal for settlement of all equal pay claims lodged by NIPSA on behalf of Administrative Assistant, Administrative Officer, Executive Officer II and analogous grades.

2. Implementation of Equal Pay

2.1 Administrative Assistants and analogous grades - With effect from 1 February 2009 (the effective date), all Administrative Assistants and analogous grades (Annex A) in post will be assimilated to the Technical Grade 2 pay scale as set out below. Administrative Assistants, analogous grades and students appointed after the effective date will be assimilated to point 1 of the Technical Grade 2 pay scale with effect from the date of their appointment.

The revised pay scale is outlined below while the current pay scale is in Annex B.

Revised Pay scale 1/02/09Period of Reckonable Service in AA or Analogous Grade at 1 February 2009
13,280
less than one year service in the substantive grade and below the maxima
14,131
From 1 year to less than 3 years service in the substantive grade and below the maxima
14,981
From 3 years to less than 5 years service in the substantive grade and below the maxima
15,619
From 5 years to less than 6 years service in the substantive grade and below the maxima
16,257
6 years service or more in the substantive grade and below the maxima
16,682
Staff on the maxima with less than 6 years service in the substantive grade
17,108
Staff on the maxima with 6 or more years service in the substantive grade
17,533
 

Should the assimilation terms result in staff being assimilated to a salary less than their current salary, staff will be assimilated onto the next highest point.

Arrangements for 'O' level trainees are in Annex C.

2.2 Administrative Officers and analogous grades: From the effective date, all Administrative Officers and analogous grades (Annex A) in post will be assimilated to the Technical Grade I pay scale as set out below. Administrative Officers appointed to the grade after the effective date will be assimilated to point 1 of the Technical Grade I pay scale from the date of appointment.

The revised pay scale is outlined below while the current pay scale is in Annex B.

Revised Pay scale 1/02/09Period of Reckonable Service in AO or Analogous Grade at 1 February 2009
15,277
less than one year service in substantive grade and below the maxima
16,312
From 1 year to less than 3 years service in the substantive grade and below the maxima
17,348
From 3 years to less than 5 years service in the substantive grade and below the maxima
18,038
From 5 years to less than 6 years service in the substantive grade and below the maxima
18,728
6 years service or more in the grade and below the maxima
19,419
Staff on the maxima with less than 6 years service in the substantive grade
20,109
Staff on the maxima with 6 or more years service in the substantive grade
20,799
 
21,490
 
21,835
 
22,180
 

Arrangements for Mapping and Charting TG1, Valuation Assistant, Post Mortem Attendant, Assistant Scientific Officer, Conservation Grade G and SGB1 Security Guards are in Annex C.

2.3 Executive Officer II and analogous grades – From the effective date, all Executive Officer II and analogous grades (Annex A) in post will be assimilated to a new EOII pay scale as set out below.

Revised EOII pay scale
Feb 2009
Max
23,250
7
22,718
6
22,186
5
21,654
4
21,122
3
20,590
2
20,015
1
19,450

 

August 2008 
pay scale

 

Feb 2009 
pay scale

     

Max

23,250

     

7

22,718

Max1

21,132

NIA Image

6

22,186

9

20,844

NIA Image

5

21,654

8

20,637

NIA Image

4

21,122

7

20,390

NIA Image

4

21,122

6

20,018

NIA Image

3

20,590

5

19,647

NIA Image

2

20,015

4

19,152

NIA Image

2

20,015

3

18,657

NIA Image

1

19,450

2

18,163

NIA Image

1

19,450

1

17,668

NIA Image

1

19,450

1. Staff on the maximum of the Typing Manager scale will move to £22,186

3. Settlement Payment (AA/AO and analogous grades)

3.1 Staff in employment on the effective date who served substantively during the period 1 February 2003 and 31 January 2009 in the Administrative Assistant, Administrative Officer or analogous grades, will be entitled to the payment of non pensionable lump sums set out below. These payments are net of income tax and National Insurance liabilities. This also applies to staff who have left employment in the 6 months prior to the effective date and have more than 2 years reckonable service.

Grades AA and analogous

Less than 
1 year
1 or more but less than 2 years 2 or more but less than 3 years 3 or more but less than 4 years 4 or more but less than 5 years 5 or more but less than 6 years 6 years or more
105 770 2,660 4,200 6,300 8,400 9,993

Grades AO and analogous

Less than 
1 year
1 or more but less than 2 years 2 or more but less than 3 years 3 or more but less than 4 years 4 or more but less than 5 years 5 or more but less than 6 years 6 years or more
280 1,488 4,130 5,723 8,750 11,585 13,965

3.2 The settlement payment will be subject to the following adjustments

Non reckonable service/Career Breaks: Periods of non reckonable service greater than six months will result in the service period used to calculate the settlement payment being reduced by that period.

Part time working: The settlement payment will be reduced on a pro rata basis to reflect the part time hours of work based on the working hours in the February payroll file in each year from Feb 2003 to Feb 2008 inclusive.

4. Settlement Payment (EOII and analogous grades)

4.1 Staff in employment on the effective date who served substantively during the period 1 February 2003 and 31 January 2009 in the Executive Officer II or analogous grades, will be entitled to the payment of non pensionable lump sums set out below. These payments are net of income tax and National Insurance liabilities. This also applies to staff who have left employment in the 6 months prior to the effective date and have more than 2 years reckonable service.

Less than 3 years 3 or more but 
less than 5 years
5 years or more
250 1,100 1,700

4.2 The above settlement payment will be subject to the following adjustments

Non reckonable service/Career Breaks: Periods of non reckonable service greater than six months will result in the service period used to calculate the settlement payment being reduced by that period.

Part time working: The settlement payment will be reduced on a pro rata basis to reflect the part time hours of work based on the working hours in the February payroll file in each year from Feb 2003 to Feb 2008 inclusive.

5. Other Provisions (AA/AO/EOII and analogous grades)

5.1 Casual Appointments: Previous service on a casual basis, where staff become permanent, will be included if the break in service between casual and permanent appointment is 6 months or less.

5.2 Pension entitlements for staff in employment at effective date: For staff in post at the effective date who are members of the Classic, Classic Plus or Premium Pension Schemes, and have retired since 1 February 2009 or are due to retire within one year (i.e. from 1 February 2009 to 31 January 2010), their pensionable earnings will be adjusted proportionately taking into account the revised pay scale. For staff in the Nuvos scheme, their pensionable earnings will be adjusted to take account of the revised pay scale.

5.3 Staff Retired/Left service/Deceased: Staff in the affected grades who have retired/left/deceased in the 6 months prior to the effective date between the period 1 August 2008 and 31 January 2009 will receive the compensation payment as outlined above in paragraphs 3.1 and 4.1. Their pensionable earnings will supplemented by one sixth of the compensation payment.

5.4 Gender: This proposal applies to both male and female staff in the affected grades.

5.5 NICS Departments: This proposal applies to the Northern Ireland Civil Service Departments.

5.6 Comprehensive Pay and Grading Review: Joint Management and Trade Union Side engagement in a comprehensive Pay and Grading Review covering all grades within the NICS. Examination of the Executive Officer II grade within the NICS pay and grading structures will be prioritised in this review process.

Annex A

Administrative Assistant and Analogous Grades

Grade TitleAnalogous Grade
Administrative Assistant

AA

Administrative Assistant (New Deal)

AA

Administrative Assistant London

AA

Assistant Custodian

AA

Cleaner

AA

Dental Surgery Assistant

AA

ICT level 1

AA

O Level Trainee Civil Engineering Assistant

AA

O Level Trainee Planning Assistant

AA

Sandwich Course student

AA

Sandwich Course student (IT)

AA

SGB2

AA

SGB2 Security Guard

AA

SGB2 Watchperson/cleaner

AA

Trainee Electrical Engineering Assistant

AA

Trainee Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

AA

Trainee Mechanical Engineering Assistant

AA

Trainee Planning Assistant

AA

Typist

AA

Typist London

AA

Vacational student

AA

Administrative Officer and Analogous Grades

Grade TitleAnalogous Grade
Administrative Officer

AO

Administrative Officer (New Deal)

AO

Administrative Officer London

AO

Assistant Programmer

AO

Assistant Supervisor (Office Machines) (Obsol)

AO

Custodian

AO

Field Monument Warden

AO

Healthcare Assistant

AO

ICT Level 2

AO

Mapper

AO

Medical Attendant

AO

Nurse Grade C

AO

Security Guard

AO

Security Officer

AO

SGB1

AO

SGB1 Security Guard

AO

Social Security Officer IIA

AO

Social Security Officer IIB

AO

Executive Officer II and Analogous Grades

Grade TitleAnalogous Grade
Executive Officer II

EOII

Audit Assistant (H&SS)

EOII

Trainee Careers Advisor

EOII

Law Clerk II

EOII

Senior Mapper

EOII

Programmer

EOII

Traffic Examiner EOII

EOII

Personal Secretary

EOII

Senior Personal Secretary

EOII

Social Security Officer 1

EOII

Agricultural Inspector Group 1,

EOII

Imports Inspector

EOII

Fisheries Officer II

EOII

Support Manager 3

EOII

Supervisor of Security Guards

EOII

Support Manager 3 (Supervisor of Security Guards

EOII

EOII London

EOII

Personal Secretary London

EOII

Typing Manager

EOII

Driver and Traffic Examiner

EOII

Enforcement Officer

EOII

Annex B

Current Pay Scales

AA and analogous

Pay scale 1/08/08
13,130
13,493
13,872
14,201
14,420

AO and analogous

Pay scale 1/08/08
14,890
15,539
16,136
16,714
17,099

Annex C

'O' Level Trainee assimilation

From the effective date, all 'O' level trainees in post will be assimilated to a new pay scale as set out below. 'O' level trainees appointed after the effective date will be assimilated to point 1 of the new pay scale with effect from the date of their appointment.

Revised 'O' level trainee pay scale
1 Feb 2009
Max
17,533
3
16,257
2
14,981
1
13,280

 

August 2008 
pay scale
 
Feb 2009 
pay scale
Max
16,136
NIA Image
Max
17,533
3
14,890
NIA Image
3
16,257
2
13,872
NIA Image
2
14,981
1
13,130
NIA Image
1
13,280

Mapping and Charting TG1 assimilation

August 2008 
pay scale
 
Feb 2009 
pay scale
Max
22,180
NIA Image
Max
22,180
9
21,868
NIA Image
Max
22,180
8
21,556
NIA Image
10
21,835
7
20,932
NIA Image
9
21,490
6
20,308
NIA Image
8
20,799
5
19,684
NIA Image
7
20,109
4
18,904
NIA Image
6
19,419
3
18,124
NIA Image
5
18,728
 
 
 
4
18,038
2
17,188
NIA Image
3
17,348
1
15,940
NIA Image
2
16,312
     
1
15,277

Valuation Assistant, Post Mortem Attendant and Assistant Scientific Officer assimilation

August 2008 
pay scale
 
Feb 2009 
pay scale
Max
22,180
NIA Image
Max
22,180
11
21,644
NIA Image
10
21,835
10
21,018
NIA Image
9
21,490
9
20,408
NIA Image
8
20,799
8
19,817
NIA Image
7
20,109
7
19,244
NIA Image
6
19,419
6
18,686
NIA Image
5
18,728
5
18,144
NIA Image
5
18,728
4
17,620
NIA Image
4
18,038
3
17,109
NIA Image
3
17,348
2
16,265
NIA Image
2
16,312
1
15,049
NIA Image
1
15,277

Conservation Grade G assimilation

August 2008 
pay scale
 
Feb 2009 
pay scale
Max
22,180
NIA Image
Max
22,180
10
21,820
NIA Image
10
21,835
9
21,460
NIA Image
9
21,490
8
20,740
NIA Image
8
20,799
7
20,020
NIA Image
7
20,109
6
19,228
NIA Image
6
19,419
5
18,437
NIA Image
5
18,728
4
17,645
NIA Image
4
18,038
3
16,925
NIA Image
3
17,348
2
15,989
NIA Image
2
16,312
1
14,981
NIA Image
1
15,277

Support Grade Band 1 Security Guards

Support Grade Band 1 Security Guards will be assimilated to the Technical Grade 1 scale as outlined at paragraph 2.2 and will be held on the resulting point but will receive any subsequent cost of living increases until alignment with the Support Grade Band 2 Security Guard pay scale.

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Norman Irwin
DFP Assembly Section
Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont

26 November 2009

Dear Norman

Equal Pay Offer

At its meeting on 25 November, the Committee for Finance and Personnel noted the update from DFP on the NICS Equal Pay offer. The Committee also considered correspondence from NIO staff regarding this issue, which I have enclosed (in an anonymous form) for information.

Members agreed to seek clarification on the position regarding staff at the equivalent grades in the NIO, particularly those seconded from the NICS, including what steps the Department intends to take to resolve the issue. Should this not be within the competence of the Department at this time, the Committee would welcome views on how the issue could be pursued.

I would be grateful for a response by 8 December, to allow for Committee consideration in advance of the Christmas Recess.

Yours sincerely

Shane McAteer
Committee Clerk

Enc

Committee for Finance and Personnel submission

Assembly Section

Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont
BT4 3SX
Tel No: 02890 529147
Fax No: 02890 529148
email: Norman.Irwin@dfpni.gov.uk

Mr Shane McAteer
Clerk
Committee for Finance and Personnel
Room 419
Parliament Buildings
Stormont

7 December 2009

Dear Shane,

Equal Pay

In your letter of 26th November you asked for clarification on the position regarding staff at the equivalent grades in the NIO, particularly those seconded from the NICS, including what steps the Department intends to take to resolve the issue.

The position in relation to NIO staff is that following the delegation of pay and grading in 1996, the NIO has separate pay and grading arrangements which apply to all NIO staff. Therefore the NIO is not joined to the equal pay issue facing the Northern Ireland Departments in relation to the disparity between administrative and technical grades. NIPSA has indicated that it intends to raise the matter with the NIO.

Yours sincerely,

NORMAN IRWIN sig

NORMAN IRWIN

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Mr Sammy Wilson MP MLA
Minister of Finance and Personnel
Craigantlet Buildings
Stoney Road
BELFAST
BT4 3SX

8 December 2009

Dear Sammy

Equal Pay Claims

At its meeting on 2 December 2009, the Committee for Finance and Personnel noted correspondence from two civil servants at the Executive Officer 2 grade, regarding the proposals in respect of the NICS equal pay claim. The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to you for response to the issues raised.

I would be grateful for a reply at your earliest convenience. Please find the relevant correspondence enclosed.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer McCann MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel

Enc

Jennifer McCann - sammy Wilson correspondence
Jennifer McCann - sammy Wilson correspondence
Jennifer McCann - sammy Wilson correspondence
Jennifer McCann - sammy Wilson correspondence

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Norman Irwin
DFP Assembly Section
Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont

10 December 2009

Dear Norman

Equal Pay Settlement

The Committee for Finance and Personnel discussed the proposed settlement of the Equal Pay issue at its meeting on 9 December. Members agreed to seek clarification on the position of Civil Servants who retired before 1 August 2008.

In particular, members wish to know if civil servants who retired before that date are entitled to submit an equal pay claim to an industrial tribunal, and the potential implications – financial and otherwise – should such a claim be successfully pursued.

I would be grateful for a response by 30 December.

Yours sincerely

Shane McAteer
Committee Clerk

Sammy Wilson correspondance
Sammy Wilson correspondance

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Norman Irwin
DFP Assembly Section
Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont

8 January 2010

Dear Norman

Equal Pay Settlement

At its meeting on 6 January 2010, the Committee for Finance and Personnel discussed your letter of 4 January regarding the position of civil servants who retired before 1 August 2008, in terms of the equal pay settlement.

Members noted that the Committee's query on the implications (financial or otherwise) of a successful claim to an industrial tribunal had not been addressed, and agreed to request a response on this issue.

I would be grateful for a response by 22 January.

Yours sincerely

Shane McAteer
Committee Clerk

Assembly Section

Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont
BT4 3SX
Tel No: 02890 529147
Fax No: 02890 529148
email: Norman.Irwin@dfpni.gov.uk

Mr Shane McAteer
Clerk
Committee for Finance and Personnel
Room 419
Parliament Buildings
Stormont

19 January 2010

Dear Shane

You wrote to me on 8th January on behalf of the Committee for Finance and Personnel seeking clarification on the implications (financial or otherwise) of a successful claim to the Industrial Tribunal made by former NICS employees.

As previously advised, under equal pay legislation former employees have six months from the date of leaving their employment in which to lodge an equal pay claim with the Industrial Tribunal. The settlement excludes former NICS employees who left before 1 August 2008, who would be now be out of time for lodging an equal pay claim with the Industrial Tribunal, and therefore no equal pay claim could be successfully pursued.

Those eligible staff who have left the NICS since 1 August 2008 are included in the terms of the settlement. As part of the process for implementing the terms of the settlement individuals will be required to confirm that by accepting their compensation payment they waive their right to lodge an equal pay claim.

On that basis, there are very limited financial implications for the NICS should former staff pursue claims with the Industrial Tribunal.

Yours sincerely,

NIA Image

NORMAN IRWIN

Committee for Finance And Personnel

Mr Sammy Wilson MP MLA
Minister of Finance and Personnel
Craigantlet Buildings
Stoney Road
BELFAST
BT4 3SX

10 February 2010

Dear Sammy

Equal Pay

At its meeting on 27 January 2010 the Committee for Finance and Personnel heard evidence from the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) on the basis of the proposed settlement of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) Equal Pay claims.

The Committee is mindful of the concerns raised by former civil servants who had equal pay grievances but who left NICS before 1 August 2008 without lodging an equal pay claim with the Industrial Tribunal, and who consequently do not fall under the proposed settlement. The Committee notes that this has created an anomalous situation and, following the evidence from NIPSA, members therefore discussed the parameters for addressing equal pay issues, including legal requirements and moral considerations and the potential budgetary implications of going beyond the settlement currently being proposed.

Whilst recognising the complexities and competing considerations around this issue, the Committee would welcome efforts by both Management and Trade Union Side to work together to actively explore the feasibility of finding a constructive way forward on this matter.

I am copying this letter to Kieran Bannon, Assistant General Secretary, NIPSA for information.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer McCann MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel

cc: Kieran Bannon, Assistant General Secretary, NIPSA

Correspondeance from Sammy Wilson
Correspondeance from Sammy Wilson
(NORTHERN IRELAND BRANCH)
Honorary Secretary: Ivan Baxter

1 Pirrie Road
Belfast
BT4 3NN

Dear Committee Member, 22, March, 2010

Equal Pay in NICS

I am sure you are aware that a recent pay settlement between DFP and NIPSA purported to bring to a conclusion a long outstanding pay grievance for officers in the Civil Service Grades of AA, AO, and EO2

Under this settlement serving officers are to benefit, many of them substantially, but a large number of Civil Service Pensioners who worked alongside the serving officers are, with some exceptions to get nothing. We understand that about 1,000 retired officers are affected in this way. It is our view that they are being unfairly and unjustly treated.

The purpose of this letter is to ask that, if your Committee decides to investigate this Pay Settlement, we would like the opportunity to present our views. If you think a rather fuller submission prior to the hearing might be helpful we can certainly oblige.

Yours Sincerely,

Ivan Baxter

To all Members of the N.I.Assembly DFP Committee

Committee for Finance And Personnel

Mr Sammy Wilson MP MLA
Minister of Finance and Personnel
Craigantlet Buildings
Stoney Road
BELFAST
BT4 3SX

12 April 2010

Dear Sammy

Equal Pay

At its meeting on 24 March 2010 the Committee for Finance and Personnel considered correspondence from the Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance regarding the proposed settlement for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) Equal Pay claims.

The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to you for an update on any further consideration that you have given to this issue, further to your correspondence of 28 February.

The Committee would also ask for clarification of where the responsibility lies for staff who are seconded from the NICS to other agencies and public bodies, and what is being done to take this matter forward.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer McCann MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel

Enc

Correspondeance from Sammy Wilson
Correspondeance from Sammy Wilson
(NORTHERN IRELAND BRANCH)
Honorary Secretary: Ivan Baxter

1 Pirrie Road
Belfast
BT4 3NN

Mr. David Orr
Equality Officer, DFP
Room S6, Rathgael House,
Balloo Road,
BANGOR 
BT19 7NA 23 April 2010

Dear Mr. Orr

Equal Pay Issues in NICS

I am writing to advise you that CSPA intends to make an approach to the Equality Commission in the near future about the Department's failure to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment under Section 75 of the N.I.Act 1998 in relation to the recent pay settlement for AAs, AOs, and EO2s. Before doing so we would appreciate your comments.

On 22 March 2010 we wrote to Mr. Derek Baker of Corporate HR enquiring if an EQIA had been undertaken in connection with this settlement. In his response Mr. Baker advised us that no EQIA had been undertaken as the matter did not relate to the development of policy and was determined by the law on the subject. In our view this is entirely incorrect. The settlement was not determined by the law but by a new and unique policy (written or unwritten) which had to be developed within the Department to deal with this novel and difficult pay issue. In the end the matter was settled by administrative action. The policy which was developed clearly affected people who are now members of the public and all those affected by the decision should have been consulted.

Our understanding is that some years ago a dispute arose between the union NIPSA and the Department about the salaries payable to officers in the grades AA, AO and EO2. The union contended that there was an equivalence between these grades and other technical grades within the civil service which were attracting higher salaries. NIPSA encouraged their members to lodge claims with the Industrial Tribunal under Equal Pay legislation, blocking up the Court system. It became obvious that this was not, and never had been , a matter for the Tribunal since this was an all class issue and had nothing to do with particular individuals comparing their jobs with other jobs within the same organisation. Lodging a large volume of claims with the Industrial Tribunal was simply a tactic employed by the union to bring pressure on the Department to settle.

A solution to this matter was developed within the Department to remove the need for the Tribunal to take decisions on an individual basis by settling across the entire grades involved. The settlement was negotiated with the union, using the equality laws as a frame of reference. An offer was made to the union in due course, members were consulted, a vote was taken and the offer accepted.

Our point is that this was an administrative process in which the Department had total discretion. The Department was only using the equality laws as a guide and were not bound by them. Courts hand down judgements, they do not put offers to unions for their members to conduct ballots. Not only that, part of the settlement required applicants to the Tribunal to withdraw their claims

Our view is that from the very outset the Department would have known that retired civil servants would have lost out by using this approach. The Department is now withholding the back pay of ex-civil servants who were clearly being underpaid whilst they were in employment simply because they have retired. To say that they had not followed proper procedures when they were in complete ignorance of what those procedures were is not a sustainable argument. If an EQIA had been completed it would have clearly highlighted the adverse impact of this policy decision on the age, disability and gender equality categories. The Department would have had to examine mitigating measures to minimise the adverse impact and due process would have followed.

It is our view that this was a new and important policy which was developed to deal with this issue. It was an administrative procedure which affected members of the public outside the civil service and should have been subject to an EQIA. Had this been done we, as the largest representative group for retired civil servants would have had the opportunity to make our position known before the deal was finalised

I have copied this letter for information to the Equality Commission

Yours sincerely

Ivan Baxter

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Mr Sammy Wilson MLA
Minister of Finance and Personnel
Craigantlet Buildings
Stoney Road
BELFAST
BT4 3SX

18 May 2010

Dear Sammy

NICS Equal Pay Settlement

At its meeting on 12 May 2010, the Committee for Finance and Personnel considered your letter of 20 April in response to correspondence from the Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance, and to queries raised by Committee members.

The Committee agreed to request clarification on whether devolved arms-length bodies have made budgetary provision in 2010-11 for the potential payment of pack pay in respect of the Equal Pay claim.

The Committee also requested that you give consideration to establishing an independent process to review the anomalies arising from the settlement, including issues that were not addressed, and clearly communicate the reasoning for decisions in this regard.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer McCann MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel

Correspondeance from Sammy Wilson

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Norman Irwin
DFP Assembly Section
Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont

17 June 2010

Dear Norman

NICS Equal Pay Settlement

Please find attached at Annex A a list of outstanding issues and concerns raised by members of the Committee for Finance and Personnel in regard to the NICS Equal Pay Settlement.

The Committee agreed that this should be provided to Departmental officials in advance of the evidence session on this issue, which is scheduled for 30 June.

You should note that the Committee also agreed to seek the views of NIPSA on this list and whether there are any additional concerns that should be included. If additional issues are identified the Committee may wish to forward these to DFP in follow up before the session on 30 June.

Yours sincerely

Shane McAteer
Committee Clerk

Annex A

Outstanding Issues arising from Equal Pay Settlement

Retired Civil Servants

  • Whether there is any recourse left to those former NICS employees who are excluded from the settlement because they did not lodge valid equal pay claims within the timeframe.
  • Whether the provision in equal pay legislation with regard to the timeframe for lodging claims is clear cut or if it is open to interpretation/challenge.
  • How many are affected by this?
  • What is the extent of their grievances and claims and how are they pursuing this?
  • What, if any, obligations did NICS management have in terms of advising those staff leaving or retiring from service of the position with regard to the outstanding equal pay dispute, including the timeframe for lodging claims?

Secondees

  • Loss of benefits of equal pay settlement for those equivalent staff seconded to other public bodies/agencies, especially for those who are now NICS employees again following the devolution of justice.
  • Whether terms and conditions (and budget lines) follow seconded staff.

Arms Length Public Bodies

  • Although operating at arms length, NDPBs are answerable to NI departments and often mirror NICS terms and conditions. How it is determined whether the terms of the settlement apply to individual NDPBs?

Funding the Settlement

  • Update on the estimate of costs.
  • Whether DFP, who conducted and negotiated the settlement, will be providing central funding to departments and to arm-length bodies to cover the claims.

Equal Pay

From: NORMAN IRWIN
Date: 24 JUNE 2010

Summary

Business Area: CORPORATE HR
Issue: Update on Equal Pay
Restrictions: None
Action Required: To note

Background

Officials are due to brief the Committee on 30 June on the matter of Civil Service Equal Pay claims. This submission provides a brief overview of the current position and next steps.

Detail

The equal pay settlement agreed by the Executive and NIPSA at the end of 2009 was negotiated to end all current and pending equal pay claims lodged by NIPSA on behalf of 4,500 female members of staff at AA, AO and EO2 grades using male TG1, TG2 and PTO staff as comparators. The terms of the settlement apply not only to the claimants but to all eligible staff in the affected grades, as well as to those staff who left or retired from the NICS on or after 1 August 2008.

The settlement comprises two main elements – the assimilation of all eligible staff in post on 1 February 2009 onto new pay scales with effect from that date, and the payment of a lump sum amount calculated on the basis of an individual's length of service in each of the affected grades during the six year period covered by the settlement (i.e. 1 February 2003 – 31 January 2009).

Implementation

There are almost 16,000 eligible individuals, all of whom are entitled to receive a lump sum payment which requires individual calculation and verification. Around 12,000 of these individuals in post at 1 February 2009 also had to be assimilated to the new pay scales. The process of assimilation began in March and is now almost complete for those eligible, with the associated salary arrears also having been paid.

In order to trigger payment of an individual's lump sum, there will be a requirement to agree to withdraw any equal pay claim currently lodged with the Industrial Tribunal (c. 4,500 claimants) or to sign an agreement stating that no such claim will be pursued (c. 11,500 people).

In the case of the former, NIPSA have contacted directly their members who have registered equal pay claims in the Industrial Tribunal to consult them about the legal processes involved in withdrawing those claims and accepting a compromise agreement. In the case of the latter, individuals will be required to attend a meeting (an equal pay "road show") to sign a conciliated settlement agreement if they wish to accept the terms of the settlement. Representatives of the Labour Relations Agency will attend each road show to offer impartial advice regarding the agreement.

Funding

The estimated total cost of the settlement payments is between £125 million and £140 million. The final figure will be known when all the affected individuals have completed the validation of their data, thereby permitting a precise calculation of their settlement payments, and it is known how many affected individuals agree to sign an agreement accepting the settlement. In addition, the assimilation to new pay scales has resulted in a pay bill increase of approximately £26m annually. The Executive has made provision centrally for funding to departments to cover the costs of the settlement payments and the back pay element of assimilating staff onto the new pay scales with effect from February 2009 to March 2010. Departments have not been funded separately for the additional costs of paying staff the new rates of pay from April 2010 onwards, which will have to be met from within existing budgets.

Eligibility

The Committee has identified a number of issues arising from the settlement relating to eligibility.

Retirees

As the Committee is aware, those staff who left before 1 August 2008 are excluded from the terms of the equal pay settlement. This is because under equal pay legislation former employees have six months from the date of leaving their employment in which to lodge an equal pay claim with the Industrial Tribunal. NIPSA lodged claims on behalf of a number of its members with the Industrial Tribunal in early February 2009. This was used as a frame of reference in constructing the settlement proposal and the relevant dates for determining eligibility and fully satisfies the NICS's legal obligations. An employer does not have any obligation to advise former employees of their legal rights under equal pay legislation when leaving employment.

Secondees

Under the terms of the equal pay settlement, and in line with legal advice, periods of service for NICS staff seconded to organisations who were responsible for determining their pay will not count towards the equal pay settlement. The main groups affected by this provision are those staff who had periods of service in the NIO, PSNI or the NI Assembly.

Arm's Length Public Bodies

Each organisation will need to examine its legal status and the terms of its particular Memorandum of Understanding to determine if there is a requirement to implement the NICS equal pay revised pay scales. These bodies will also need to seek legal advice as to the applicability of the settlement payment (in whole or in part) to staff employed within their bodies.

Where there is a proven legal liability, it is for individual departments to ensure that they have made sufficient provision to cover equal pay costs incurred this year, embracing all associated NDPBs and agencies.

Conclusion

It has been stressed on a number of occasions that the NICS is committed to correcting any unlawful pay inequalities that exist in its pay and grading structures, and to ensuring that legal obligations are met. The settlement terms satisfy those obligations while attempting to minimise the impact on public services. The cost of the settlement payments has contributed to the need to reduce departmental budgets in 2010/11, whilst the additional cost arising from the new pay scales has added to the in-year pressures facing departments.

The final stage of the implementation of the equal pay settlement will be the comprehensive pay and grading review. Preparatory work has begun on the review and the Minister has stated that he is determined that it will progress without any undue delay.

The latest management communication to staff about the equal pay settlement is attached for your information.

Corporate HR
Equal Pay Team
1st Floor Carleton House
1 Cromac Avenue
Gasworks Business Park
Ormeau Road
Belfast BT7 2JA

From: Mark Bailey
Date: 18 June 2010
To: All Staff

Equal Pay Update

In my update on 14th May, I outlined the 3 steps in the process to implement the equal pay settlement for the AA, AO, EOII and analogous grades:

  • Step 1 – Data validation
  • Step 2 – Notification of Settlement Payment Calculation
  • Step 3 - Signing of the agreement to accept the terms of the settlement.

Step 1 is now mostly complete, and Step 2 is well underway with the majority of staff having had the opportunity to view their individual settlement amounts

Step 1 - Staff who have not yet validated their service history should do so as soon as possible as their settlement payment cannot be calculated until this is complete. Details on how to do this are available in the document called "Data Validation Exercise - Communication to Staff" on the NICS pay website www.pay.nics.gov.uk

Step 2 - Staff who have not yet viewed their settlement amounts should do so as soon as possible. Details on how to do this can be found in the document "Settlement payment – Communication to Staff" with further information contained in the "Settlement Payment – Worked Examples" document, both available online at www.pay.nics.gov.uk

Step 3 – Signing of the agreement to accept the terms of the settlement

Step 3 is the final stage in the process and must be completed by each individual before lump sums can be paid. This step is about to commence and will involve eligible staff signing agreements to accept the terms of the settlement. There are two separate processes depending on whether NIPSA have registered a claim at the Industrial Tribunal on your behalf.

Claimants

NIPSA have already contacted directly their members for whom they have registered equal pay claims with the Industrial Tribunal. NIPSA will be writing to these members again to invite them to sign a compromise agreement, following which the settlement payment will be processed and the claim at the Industrial Tribunal withdrawn (technically referred to as being dismissed). These staff are not required to attend the roadshows that are outlined in the non claimant process below.

Non Claimants

All other staff in the affected grades, for whom NIPSA have not registered equal pay claims with the Industrial Tribunal, will be required to attend a meeting (equal pay roadshow) to sign an agreement if they wish to accept the terms of the settlement.

Staff will shortly receive an email asking them to book onto a roadshow, where they will receive impartial advice from representatives of the Labour Relations Agency regarding the agreement. These roadshows will be held throughout Northern Ireland over July, August and September and will only be open to staff who have validated their service history (Step 1) and have not lodged equal pay claims with the Industrial Tribunal through NIPSA. Once individuals sign the agreement instructions will be issued to enable payment of the lump sum.

We will be contacting staff by email in the next few days to advise them of the steps to be taken to book a roadshow session. This email will be staged over the coming week and will be issued on a departmental basis. If colleagues in a different department receive the email before you, you should wait until you receive you email before taking any action.

Please remember that there are two separate processes, a written process for claimants and a 'roadshow' process for non claimants. More information is available from the FAQs which have been recently updated to reflect these processes. The FAQs and further information on equal pay can be found on the NICS pay website at www.pay.nics.gov.uk

Mark Bailey sig

Mark Bailey

NICS Equal Pay Settlement
Briefing to the Committee for Finance and Personnel

Produced By NIPSA June 2010

1. Introduction

1.1 This briefing paper has been written in response to a request from the Committee for Finance and Personnel for NIPSA's views on issues it will consider at its session on 30 June 2010. The particular issues relate to the NICS Equal Pay Settlement in relation to former (retired) NI Civil Servants, NIO (now Department of Justice) PSNI/former PSNI staff and NDPBs.

1.2 The position in relation to each category, from NIPSA's perspective, is detailed below. It should be noted that NIPSA is currently consulting with its legal team in respect of these bodies and staff in the NI Water Ltd who were former members of staff in the Department for Regional Development. NIPSA is likely to initiate legal action shortly in respect of members in the above bodies should the terms of the NICS equal pay settlement not be applied.

2. Former (retired) NI Civil Servants

2.1 Following protracted negotiations and Ministerial approval, an offer was extended to NIPSA proposing terms of settlement of equal pay claims in respect of Administrative Assistant (AA), Administrative Officer (AO), Executive Officer II and their related grades. Despite the fact that NIPSA throughout the negotiations sought provision within the settlement terms that would benefit those who had left the NICS on or after the retrospective date for back payments i.e. 1 February 2003, there was only an extremely limited provision within the proposed settlement terms for former employees. This provision related only to those with at least 2 years of service leaving on or after 1 August 2008. The legal requirement is for a person to have lodged a tribunal application within 6 months of leaving service. The 1 August 2008 date was approximately 6 months prior to NIPSA having lodged cases with the Industrial Tribunal Office.

2.2 NIPSA had sought urgent negotiations with NICS Management to reach a settlement of the equal pay disparity following the Finance Ministers public statement in May 2008 indicating the claims were to be settled. However, NIPSA was extremely frustrated with the lack of commitment from NICS Management to meaningful negotiations. In August 2008 a Bulletin was issued by NIPSA indicating its Civil Service Group Executive Committee had determined that Industrial Tribunal claims should be lodged. In that Bulletin NIPSA included the following statement:

"… NIPSA also needs to advise any members in the affected grades who expect to leave NI Civil Service employment or retire in the near future of time limits for submitting claims. In such circumstances any person wishing to pursue an equal pay claim against the employer must do so within six months of leaving or retiring…"

2.3 In considering the detail of the proposed offer, the NIPSA Civil Service Group Executive Committee recognised that while a number of objectives for Trade Union Side were not reflected in the proposals, it nonetheless represented a significant settlement. It was also the absolute best that could be achieved through negotiation. The only alternative to accepting the proposed terms of settlement was to pursue tribunal cases. The ballot held to consult members in the affected grades authorised NIPSA to proceed to have the proposed terms of settlement implemented albeit that not all our objectives (including that relating to former/retired civil servants) were achieved. Even if tribunal cases had been pursued successfully, the tribunal outcome would not have resulted in the terms of settlement being applied to former employees prior to the date that currently pertains.

2.4 Notwithstanding this, the public statement by the Finance Minister in May 2008 was reported to have referred to settlement of claims which would include retired civil servants in terms of back payments. In addition Ministers, in Assembly debates, have referred to the NI Executive meeting its moral obligations as much as its legal obligations. Following the evidence given by NIPSA at the Committee for Finance and Personnel session on 27 January 2010, the Committee recognised the complexities and competing considerations in respect of the issue. The Committee also indicated it would welcome efforts from NICS Officials and NIPSA to actively explore the feasibility of finding a constructive way forward. NIPSA has sought to do so but there is not a willingness on the part of the NICS Management to engage on the matter.

2.5 In reality NICS Management is unlikely to do so without Ministerial approval and therefore a "political" will needs to exist and be acted upon to see progress in this area. NIPSA believe strongly that a moral case exists. It must be recognised that retired civil servants have given many years dedicated service (up to 30), including during the period of the equal pay terms of settlement (1 February 2003 – 31 January 2009). Their service to the public during that period, like existing NI Civil Servants, should be acknowledged. They too suffered the inequality over the period of settlement, however, due to limited/poor legislative protections they are treated in this fashion. NIPSA is prepared to enter further discussions to achieve some level of compensation for these members on the basis that NICS Management is authorised to reach an agreement.

3. Application of Settlement Terms to Bodies Outside NICS Departments

3.1 Throughout the negotiations NIPSA argued that any agreed terms of settlement should be applied to staff in the following groups:-

(a) NI civil servants working in the Northern Ireland Office (now Department of Justice);

(b) NI civil servants who had worked in the PSNI prior to the October 2008 transfer and those transferring to a NICS Department at that date;

(c) Former NI civil servants who had worked in the Water Service of the Department for Regional Development up to April 2007; and

(d) Members who, while not civil servants, nonetheless work in Controlled Fringe Bodies (Non Departmental Public Bodies) that adopt the NICS grading structure and who attract NICS rates of pay.

3.2 A number of staff in the above areas made representations to their political representatives. It has been reported to NIPSA that some political representatives claim that the negotiations excluded such bodies. This is not the case. Despite NIPSA's representations on behalf of members working in these areas/bodies during the negotiations, NICS Management refused to acknowledge or address the issues relating to them. Indeed NICS Management insisted the terms of settlement presented to NIPSA on 23 November 2009 excluded staff in these areas/bodies. As a result NIPSA could not include such members in the ballot conducted in relation to the proposed terms of settlement.

3.3 NIPSA has continued to make representations to the NICS Management and directly to Management in a number of the bodies concerned, to have the terms of settlement implemented in full. To assist the Committees consideration of these matters, further detail in respect of the areas/bodies is provided below.

4. Northern Ireland Office

4.1 Prior to 1997 the grading and pay structure in the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) was that which pertained across all Departments in the NICS. The NIO however was a reserved function under the control and governance of Whitehall. With the exception of a few individuals, NIO staff working in Northern Ireland were recruited directly to the NICS appointed as NI civil servants to the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) and subsequently seconded to the Northern Ireland Office.

4.2 In 1996 the NIO sought and was granted a grading and pay delegation. NIPSA attempted to resist this but was not successful in that quest. At the time NIPSA entered an exchange of correspondence, relating to the delegation, with Mr David Fell, the then Head of the NI Civil Service. In response to our representations David Fell wrote to NIPSA's General Secretary on 25 October 1996. The content of this letter became known as the "Fell assurance". In particular the letter stated:-

(a) "I can also reassure you that it is my intention that NICS staff in the NIO should be treated no less favourably than staff covered by the DFP agreement*."

(b) "no less favourable treatment when taken in the round" was defined as - "at level of group/settlement not individual level but that we have a clear sighted view that although the terms and conditions of individual staff could be different in a Department to which a delegation has been given, significant disparity should not emerge. Differences may result from delegation and pay proposals for change would need to be considered against equal pay legislation."

*the NICS pay agreement.

4.3 In addition to the above assurances, which contained an acknowledgement of the relevance of equal pay legislation, terms were agreed relating to transfers between the NIO and the NICS ie, Interface Arrangements Between The Northern Ireland Office and Northern Ireland Departments. These arrangements form part of the NICS Staff Handbook and relate to how a NI civil servants pay would be determined in such transfers. It clearly establishes the link between NICS pay and NIO delegated pay in the context of the Fell assurance and the fact that the staff have always been NI civil servants, irrespective of their posting in the NIO or a NICS Department.

4.4 There are 521 D1's (NICS AO equivalents) which represents approximately 26% of NIO staff and 227 D2's (NICS AA equivalent) representing approximately 11.5% of NIO staff. Combined these equate to roughly 38% overall of the number of staff working in the NIO (now part of DOJ). NIPSA believe that to argue these NI civil servants should not attract the full terms of the equal pay settlement that their NI civil service colleagues working in a NICS Department received (albeit that separate calculations may be required), is flawed. It most certainly does not honour the Fell assurance of no less favourable treatment, "in the round" or otherwise.

4.5 It should be noted that NIO staff have been assimilated to the revised NICS pay scales as contained in the terms of settlement but only at the point of establishing the Department of Justice, 12 April 2010. Discussions are on-going with the NIO about those rates of pay being applied to NIO staff (who have always been NI civil servants) back to the 1 February 2009 and for the application of the settlement payment (lump sum) consistent with the treatment of their NI civil service colleagues in the affected grades working in a NICS Department. To date this has been hotly resisted by NIO Management.

5. POLICE SERVICE OF NORTHERN IRELAND (PSNI)

5.1 Staff who worked in the PSNI (formerly PANI), prior to the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, were recruited as NI civil servants appointed to DFP and seconded to the PANI (and continued on secondment in the PSNI). They were therefore recruited as Northern Ireland civil servants and importantly the PSNI (and its predecessor the PANI) did not have a grading and pay delegation. PANI/PSNI members have always been covered by the pay negotiations undertaken through the NICS Central Whitley arrangements in respect of NI civil servants below the Senior Civil Service grades..

5.2 In terms of the status of NI civil servants working in the PSNI we need to have regard to the relevant pieces of legislation. Particular attention is drawn to the following:-

(a) Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000

"Part II 4. Police Support Staff

(4) The Board may make appointments for administrative, secretarial or other assistance to be provided for the police by persons employed in the civil service."

"Schedule 2 Transfer of Seconded Staff

5 (1) This paragraph applies to a person who immediately before the transfer date is engaged in the pursuance of arrangements under section 3(4) of the 1998 Act in providing assistance to the Authority.

(2) If, immediately before the transfer date a person to whom this paragraph applies was a member of the police service staff of the Authority, he shall be treated as a member of the police support staff engaged in the pursuance of the arrangements under section 4(4).

(3) In any other case, he shall be treated as a person engaged in providing assistance to the Board in pursuance of arrangements under paragraph 13 (2) of Schedule 1."

(b) The Police Support Staff (Transfer of Employment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008.

"Interpretation

2. In these Regulations –

"relevant person" means a person to whom section 5 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 applies "the prescribed date" means 1 October 2008.

Transfer of Staff

3. (1) Each relevant person shall on the prescribed date transfer to, and become an employee of, the Board.

(2) A contract of employment by which a relevant person is employed in the civil service shall have the effect from the prescribed date as if originally made between that person and the Board.

(3) Without prejudice to paragraph (2) above –

(a) All the rights, powers, duties and liabilities of the employer under, or in connection with, a contract to which that paragraph applies shall, by virtue of this Regulation, be transferred to the Board on the prescribed date:

(b) Anything done before the prescribed date by, or in connection to, the employer in respect of that contract or that employee, shall be deemed from that date to have been done by, or in relation to, the Board.

(4) Paragraphs (2) and (3) are without prejudice to any right of a relevant person to terminate his contract of employment if a substantial change is made to his detriment in his working conditions, but no such right shall arise by reason only of the change in employed affected by this Regulation.

(5) For the purposes of this Regulation, if a relevant person is employed in the civil service on terms which do not constitute a contract of employment –

1. That person is to be treated as employed in the civil service by virtue of a contract of employment;

2. The terms of that employment are to be regarded as constituting the terms of that contract.

5.3 Although some staff in the PSNI were directly recruited to the PSNI post the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 their pay, terms and conditions of employment were those of their PSNI seconded NI civil service colleagues. In the lead up to the Police Support Staff (Transfer of Employment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008, seconded NI civil servants were given the choice of continuing to work in the PSNI or to transfer to a NICS Department, thereby retaining their NI civil service status.

5.4 For those who remained in the PSNI, they have been entirely excluded from the equal pay settlement terms by the NICS. Those who were posted to a NICS Department, subsequent to the Regulations referred to above, have attracted some equal pay settlements from the NICS for that service only thereby excluding their service as a NI civil servant while posted in the PSNI.

5.5 Separate negotiations with the PSNI have taken place in relation to it applying the equal pay terms of settlement in the absence of NICS Management agreeing to do so. PSNI has agreed to apply the 1 February 2009 revised rates of pay and the associated arrears to that date for their staff. These monies will be paid in PSNI June salaries. Discussions are on-going in relation to the application of the settlement payment, (lump sum). However it makes no sense whatsoever in accepting their staffs former NI Civil Service status while posted in the PSNI in respect of only one element of the settlement i.e. 1 February 2009 revised pay scales, while excluding the element related to lump sum payments. It is also worth noting that the PSNI has TGI/TGII comparator grades within its structures.

5.6 Although former NI civil servants now working in PSNI, as a PSNI employee, are to be assimilated to the revised 1 February 2009 pay scales having taken account of their period as NI civil servants while working in the PSNI this is not the case for those who decided to retain their NI Civil Service status by transferring from the PSNI to an NICS Department. For those members wishing to retain their NI Civil Service status, the NICS is still insisting that their service while working in the PSNI is excluded from the calculation of their equal pay entitlements. So staff, who have retained their NI Civil Service status and are now working in an NICS Department, are being treated less favourably than former NI civil servants who have relinquished that status and are now employees of the PSNI.

5.7 All service as an NI civil servant irrespective of it having been while posted in the PSNI should be taken into account in applying the full terms of settlement irrespective of the individual now working in the PSNI or having transferred to an NICS Department.

6. Northern Ireland Water Ltd

6.1 On 1 April 2007 Northern Ireland Water Ltd came into being under the statutory provision of the Water and Sewerage Services (NI) Order 2006. Prior to that date staff were employed as NI civil servants working in the Water Service, an Agency within the Department for Regional Development (NI). Their pay, terms and conditions of service were those of all other staff employed in the NICS.

6.2 Although the date of transfer (1 April 2007) pre dated the lodging of equal pay cases with the Industrial Tribunal Office (February 2009), NIPSA believe our members now working in NIW, who were formerly NI civil servants, should benefit from the terms of settlement under TUPE protections.

6.3 Although the 1 April 2007 transfer pre dates the lodging of the Tribunal claims, nonetheless a "liability" existed at the point of formally lodging the equal pay cases originally with NICS Management. Indeed the liability has remained a live issue until agreement on the negotiated terms of settlement. NIPSA has written to NIW Management making the following points, clearly establishing the existence of the liability in support of arguing that the equal pay terms of settlement should be applied:-

(a) Formal equal pay claims for the affected grades were lodged with NICS Management in 1999 following the NICS Pay and Grading Review published in November 1998.

(b) Correspondence from Central Personnel Group, DFP confirms that the NICS Pay and Grading Review was commissioned by the collective Permanent Secretaries representing all NICS Departments.

(c) The NICS Pay and Grading Review was conducted by an inter-departmental review team under a NICS Pay and Grading Review Steering Group. Both included representation from the Department of the Environment (NI) which Water Service was part of at that time.

(d) Water Service was clearly a party to the issue of equal pay, the negotiations related to it and therefore the associated liabilities. That liability transferred at the time of establishing the Government Owned Company, (NI Water Ltd).

(e) The equal pay negotiations in respect of the AA, AO, EOII and related grades culminated in the proposed terms of settlement accepted by NIPSA that are now in the process of being implemented. NICS Management was acting corporately, through Central Personnel Group (DFP) on behalf of all Departments and their Agencies, including Water Service, in all equal pay negotiations conducted with NIPSA at Central Whitley Council.

(f) At 1 April 2007, AA's, AO's, EOII's and related grades transferring from the NICS Department to the newly created NIW were covered by the 2006 NICS 3 year pay settlement. NIW Management, following the transfer date, confirmed that they would honour the terms of the 2006 NICS 3 year settlement (1 August 2006 to 31 July 2009) under TUPE, or alternatively up to the point that it negotiated its own pay and grading structures with NIPSA if before 31 July 2009.

(g) In a settlement of a recent tribunal case, NIW accepted that the 2009 pay settlement they entered into with NIPSA constituted a term and condition of employment. The NIW Director of HR issued a circular to staff entitled Confirmation Of The Terms Of The Revised Pay Offer And A Summary Of Other Key Points Arising From The Pay Negotiations in respect of the NIW 2009 pay settlement. Item 6 of that document stated

"6. Upon the outcome of the terms of the settlement of the NICS Equal Pay claim Northern Ireland Water will open discussions with NIPSA and review the outcome of the settlement both in terms of retrospection and future impact, assess the impact on the revised level 7 pay arrangements and engage on negotiations to reach an agreed settlement on the matter. For the purposes of this agreement the term Level 7 includes all employees who were previously graded at SGB11, AA, Typist and AO grades. Should other grades be affected this will also be taken into account in the negotiations with NIPSA."

(h) This statement acknowledges that the NICS equal pay terms of settlement had implications for the NIW and that they would "negotiate a settlement on the matter". NIPSA has yet to receive a substantive response from NIW to our representations on the matter.

7. Controlled Fringe Bodies (Non Departmental Public Bodies)

7.1 There is a fairly sizeable group of Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) who while not employing NI civil servants nonetheless apply NICS grading and rates of pay eg, the Equality Commission, Invest NI, Labour Relations Agency, etc. NIPSA accepts there is not an equal pay case to be pursued in those bodies given the absence of the TGII, TGI, PTO comparator grades nonetheless, there is a strong case to argue for the application of the NICS equal pay terms of settlement. The basis for this is as follows:-

(a) Civil Service Circulars (CSC) giving effect to the annual NICS pay settlement each year contain a statement in respect of Controlled Fringe Bodies as follows:-

"Controlled Fringe Bodies

Any fringe body which normally applies the NICS pay arrangements and whose sponsor Department controls rates of pay may apply the terms of this circular, subject to the normal requirements of any procedural agreement."

(b) As part of the procedures referred to in the above extract from the CSC, NDPBs are required (as Government Departments are) to complete a Pay Pro Forma in order to obtain the necessary authority to apply the terms of the annual pay settlement negotiated in the NICS. Pay Pro Forma in respect of NDPBs are cleared through their sponsor Department, by DFP and approved at Ministerial/Executive level.

(c) It is a fact that such bodies have applied in each and every year the full terms of the NICS pay settlements. This is achieved by applying the process referred to at (b) and without any separate pay negotiations with NIPSA as the recognised trade union in these bodies for the grades covered by the annual pay settlements.

(d) NIPSA believe these circumstances constitute at the very least an implied term and condition of service. If this is correct then failure to apply the NICS equal pay terms of settlement may in turn constitute a breach of contract (or wages related case).

(e) It is a fact that had the proper rates of pay been applied by the NICS in each of the years covered by the period of retrospection (1 February 2003 to 31 January 2009) then staff in these bodies would have also attracted those rates of pay at that time. Indeed the case for applying the NICS 1 February 2009 revised rates of pay is indisputable, as it falls within the period of the 2006 NICS 3 year pay deal that was approved under the process referred to at (b) above. This being the case, it would follow that the same principle should apply in respect of the retrospective compensation being implemented in the NICS through the settlement payment (lump sum) under the agreed terms of settlement.

7.2 As NIPSA continued to pursue this matter with NICS Management, the Director of Corporate HR, DFP wrote to Personnel Directors giving some advice including examining the legal status and Memorandum of Understanding in respect of NDPBs. It was also indicated that NDPBs should obtain their own legal advice to determine if there is a requirement to implement the NICS equal pay revised pay scales (1 February 2009) and applicability of the settlement payment (lump sum payment), in whole or in part.

7.3 NIPSA has written to these bodies seeking the terms of settlement to be applied. Some have agreed to submit a business case to their sponsoring Department, mainly in relation to implementing the 1 February 2009 revised pay scales on a without prejudice basis to ongoing negotiations in relation to the application of settlement payments (lump sum). NIPSA understands that the independent legal advice obtained in a number of these bodies indicates that both the revised salary scales and the settlement payment should be applied.

8. Conclusion

8.1 NIPSA throughout the negotiations rehearsed the above arguments with NICS Management and therefore we are disappointed that Ministers and the NI Executive may not be aware of the justification for application of the NICS terms of settlement to staff in the above bodies. As stated above we are open to further meaningful negotiations to find some agreed basis for compensating former (retired) NI civil servants for the inequality they also suffered in the period between 1 February 2003 to 31 January 2009 (or their date of retirement, whichever was sooner). To achieve this NICS Management will no doubt require a Ministerial direction.

Assembly Section

Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont
BT4 3SX
Tel No: 02890 529147
Fax No: 02890 523600
email: Norman.Irwin@dfpni.gov.uk

Mr Shane McAteer
Clerk
Committee for Finance and Personnel
Room 419
Parliament Buildings
STORMONT 12 October 2010

Dear Shane,

Update on Equal Pay Implementation

You recently requested a brief update on the progress with implementation of the equal pay settlement terms.

The implementation of the equal pay settlement has two main elements – the assimilation of all eligible staff in post on 1 February 2009 onto new pay scales with effect from that date, and the payment of a lump sum amount calculated on the basis of an individual's length of service in each of the affected grades during the six year period covered by the settlement (i.e. 1 February 2003 - 31 January 2009).

The Equal Pay team identified almost 16,000 individuals eligible for inclusion in the settlement, all of whom are entitled to receive a lump sum payment which required individual calculation and verification. Around 12,000 of these individuals in post at 1 February 2009 also had to be assimilated to the new pay scales, and that process is complete.

In order to trigger payment of an individual's lump sum, there is a requirement for the individual to agree to withdraw any equal pay claim currently lodged with the Industrial Tribunal (c.4,500 claimants) or to sign an agreement stating that no such claim will be pursued (c.11,500 people). In the case of the former, NIPSA contacted directly their members who have registered equal pay claims in the Industrial Tribunal to consult them about the legal processes involved in withdrawing those claims and accepting a compromise agreement. In the case of the latter, individuals are be required to attend a meeting (an equal pay "road show") to sign a conciliated settlement agreement if they wish to accept the terms of the settlement. Around 30 road shows were held over the summer months throughout Northern Ireland, with 'mop-up' sessions continuing to run once a month. Representatives of the Labour Relations Agency attended each road show to offer impartial advice regarding the agreement, with representatives from the Equal Pay team and from NIPSA also in attendance to handle any queries from staff on the terms of the settlement.

Payments are being made to individuals the month after the NICS receives the signed agreement. By the end of October over 14,600 individuals who have signed an agreement will have received their lump sum payment. The remaining 1,300 staff will receive payment as and when they sign their settlement agreement.

Yours sincerely,

NORMAN IRWIN sig

NORMAN IRWIN

Assembly questions posed to DFP Minister
Assembly questions posed to DFP Minister
Assembly questions posed to DFP Minister
Assembly questions posed to DFP Minister

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Norman Irwin
DFP Assembly Section
Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont

7 December 2010

Dear Norman

Equal Pay and 2009 Pay Award

At its meeting on 1 December, the Committee for Finance and Personnel discussed the Equal Pay settlement and the 2009 Pay Award. Members agreed to request an update from the Department on the implementation of the outstanding aspects of the Equal Pay settlement. In particular, the Committee would welcome an update on the Department's role in respect of the implementation of the settlement for PSNI staff, and those seconded to arms length bodies during the period covered by the settlement.

The Committee also requested an update on the implementation of the 2009 pay award, including details of those bodies for which the award is yet to be implemented and the reasons why this is the case.

I would be grateful for a response by 21 December.

Yours sincerely

Shane McAteer
Committee Clerk

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Kieran Bannon
Assistant General Secretary
NIPSA
Harkin House
54 Wellington Park
Belfast
BT9 6DP

10 December 2010

Dear Kieran

NICS Equal Pay Settlement

At its meeting on 8 December, the Committee discussed outstanding issues arising from the implementation of the Equal Pay settlement. The Committee will discuss these issues with Departmental officials at its meeting on 12 January.

The Committee agreed to invite representatives of retired civil servants excluded from the settlement to give evidence on that particular issue. In that respect, members also agreed to write to request NIPSA's position on this issue and to determine whether NIPSA has referred any such cases to an industrial tribunal, or whether it is actively supporting any cases that may be proceeding in this manner.

I would be grateful for a response by 4 January 2011.

Yours sincerely

Shane McAteer
Committee Clerk

Correspondance from Older People's Advocate

Assembly Section

Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont
BT4 3SX
Tel No: 02890 529147
Fax No: 02890 523600
email: Norman.Irwin@dfpni.gov.uk

Mr Shane McAteer
Clerk
Committee for Finance and Personnel
Room 419
Parliament Buildings
Stormont Our Ref: CFP 108/10

21 December 2010

Dear Shane,

You wrote to me on 7th December concerning the NICS Equal Pay settlement and the 2009 Pay Award.

Equal Pay Settlement

The Committee has asked for an update on the implementation of the outstanding aspects of the settlement, in particular on the implementation of the settlement for PSNI staff and those seconded to arms length bodies.

Lump sum payments have now been made to 14,929 of the 15,925 individuals entitled to a settlement payment and the majority of equal pay claims lodged with the Industrial Tribunal by NIPSA on behalf of female members of staff have been, or are in the process of being, withdrawn.

There are a number of reasons why the remaining 1,000 or so individuals may not have signed an agreement yet, and many are linked to the remaining issues around previous service in NIO/PSNI. It is anticipated that once those issues are resolved the number of outstanding cases will drop considerably. We have identified the individuals involved and are monitoring the position to ensure as many people as possible engage in the process.

Work has begun on the final stage of the implementation of the equal pay settlement, the comprehensive pay and grading review. A review team has been established and terms of reference are currently being agreed with Trade Union Side (TUS). The team is currently taking the views of TUS and key stakeholders on the scope of the review, gathering information and developing options for consideration.

NIO Group

The NIO was granted delegation for pay and grading matters in 1996, subsequently introducing separate pay and grading arrangements and taking responsibility for determining the pay of seconded staff. As a result, periods of seconded service to NIO are excluded from the terms of the NICS settlement. Following discussions between NIPSA, NIO and the Department of Justice it remains our view that there is no legal basis for extending the NICS Equal Pay settlement to former NIO staff. This position was recently communicated to DOJ staff in a letter from their Director of Personnel.

PSNI

The PSNI has agreed to apply the assimilation terms (i.e. new pay scales) of the settlement to its civilian staff, which was implemented in June 2010 with effect from 1 February 2009.

Discussions have been ongoing between PSNI, DFP and NIO/DOJ regarding the entitlement of PSNI staff to the lump sum settlement payment. A draft business case was submitted by PSNI to DOJ concerning the payment of lump sums to PSNI civilian staff. This draft business case was recently submitted to DFP for consideration of the legal arguments put forward by the PSNI and officials are currently in discussions with DOJ and PSNI about the issues.

In addition to the potential impact any outcome would have on PSNI staff, the outcome may also impact on whether the NICS considers periods of service in the PSNI by the 100 or so staff who have returned to the NICS as eligible for equal pay purposes. However, until the discussions between all parties are concluded, it is not possible to determine how any outcome might affect individuals.

Arms Length Bodies

From the outset the position regarding Arms Length Bodies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies has been that each organisation must determine if there is a legal requirement to implement the NICS equal pay revised pay scales. These bodies will also need to seek legal advice as to the applicability of the settlement payment (in whole or in part) to staff employed within their bodies. Where it is identified that there may be a requirement to apply part or all of the settlement, each ALB / NDPB will be required to submit a business case through their sponsoring department which will require the approval of DFP Supply.

To date, seven business cases for the application of revised pay scales have been approved by DFP with two cases currently under consideration. In terms of lump sum payments, one business case has been received and rejected by CFG on the basis that the ALB did not demonstrate there was a legal requirement to apply the lump sum element of the settlement to staff. It is not known how many further business cases may be received through sponsoring departments.

2009 Pay Award

Industrial and non-industrial staff at all grades within Northern Ireland Civil Service departments have received the 2009 pay award. The 2009 pay award for former NIO staff in DoJ was agreed prior to devolution and was paid in April 2010. Agreement has been reached for former NIO staff, now part of DoJ, to be assimilated onto the appropriate NICS pay scales and it is our intention that this should be implemented in March 2011.

In terms of Arms-Length Bodies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies, the majority adhere to the pay remit approval process whereby each individual organisation is required to submit pay remit documentation to its parent department detailing pay proposals for their staff groups. Once departments have assessed the business case, and ensured that the pay increase is justified, it must be submitted to DFP for approval. When DFP officials are content with the business case, it is submitted to the DFP Minister for approval. To date, the Minister has approved 43 separate 2009-10 pay awards for ALBs / NDPBs and there are 32 outstanding pay proposals.

Yours sincerely,

NORMAN IRWIN sig

NORMAN IRWIN

Ms Jennifer McCann MLA
Chairperson of the Finance and Personnel Committee
Parliament Buildings
Ballymiscaw
Stormont 
BT4 3XX

4th January 2011

Dear Ms McCann

I am writing to you in relation to the equal pay issue for retired civil servants which I understand is being discussed at the Finance and Personnel Committee meeting on the 12 January 2011.

Age Sector Platform (ASP) welcomes the Committee's decision to allocate time to hear evidence on this issue as our membership believes that many retired civil servants have been treated very unfairly in this matter and have been left financially worse off through no fault of their own. We therefore fully support the Civil Service Pensioners Alliance and NIPSA Retired members in their efforts to have this situation rectified.

While we are aware that a deal regarding the salaries payable to the Administrative Grades AA, AO, and EO2 was reached between the NIPSA union and the Department of Finance and Personnel, at no stage were retired civil servants consulted on the matter. The provisions of the deal only became apparent once they entered the public domain and pensioners were shocked to learn that if they had retired before a certain cut-off point they would be omitted from the settlement.

ASP believes that it is very unfair, even discriminatory, that recently retired people were not represented either in the negotiations or consulted on the deal reached, which meant they were not compensated for losing out on their entitlements.

This also affects the level of pension they receive and we are sure that many of those affected would see great benefit during these harsh winter months in receiving what they were entitled too. As those affected would be on a small pension many will no doubt be, like so many older people, struggling to cope with the effects of fuel poverty at this time.

We fully realise that money is tight in the current financial climate but we don't believe that this is a valid reason to ignore this injustice and we believe that sum involved is likely to be minimal in comparison with amounts paid to serving staff as part of the deal with NIPSA. We wish you and the Committee well in your deliberations on this matter and we look forward to seeing the outcome of the discussions.

Yours sincerely

Eddie Lynch sig

Eddie Lynch
Project Manager
Age Sector Platform

cc. Shane McAteer, Committee Clerk

Submission by Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance (CSPA) for the N.I. Assembly DFP Committee

1. About CSPA.

The CSPA is a voluntary independent non-party-political body which campaigns, lobbies and acts on behalf of pensioners from the civil service and related bodies throughout the Uk and in Malta. CSPA has approximately 65,000 members of which nearly 4,000 reside in N.Ireland. The Alliance is a constituent member of the Public Service Pensioners Council, which represents some 1.5 million public service pensioners. It is also a leading member of the National Pensioners' Convention and a member of the governing body of Age UK. CSPA is also affiliated to AGE European Platform, the European organisation representing the interests of 150 million older people in the European Union. CSPA is recognised by the Cabinet Office as the organisation which it consults on issues which may affect civil service pensioners.

2. Equal Pay Settlement in NICS for AAs, AOs and EO2s in 2010

As we understand it, the Trade Union Side (as represented by NIPSA) and the Management Side of the NICS (DFP) had been in dispute for many years about the salaries payable to Administrative Assistants(AA), Administrative Officers(AO) and Executive Officers Grade 2(EO2), on the grounds that their work matched the quality of certain technical grades who were paid more. A number of AAs, AOs and EO2s lodged claims with the Industrial Tribunal under Equal Pay legislation in support of their contention that their jobs were undervalued. Following protracted negotiations a settlement offer was made to the T.U.Side at the end of 2009. After consulting its currently serving members the T.U.Side accepted the offer at the beginning of 2010 and the settlement was subsequently implemented.

Under the terms of the settlement compensation was paid to serving staff based on salaries they would have earned from 1 February 2003 had the revised salary scales been in payment. So far as retired staff in these grades were concerned nothing was payable if they had retired between February 2003 and 1 August 2008 unless they had lodged a claim with the Industrial Tribunal within 6 months of retiring.

3. The Issue:- The treatment of retired staff

In our view this settlement, which excluded the vast majority of staff who retired between 2003 and 2008 from benefiting from it, was unfair, unreasonable and morally indefensible. The Minister defends the Management Side's position on the grounds that, using Equal Pay Legislation as a Frame of Reference, he has no legal obligation to pay the pensioners who fell outside the terms of the settlement. We do not accept this as an adequate reason to withhold compensation from retired staff who had clearly been underpaid during their employment on an apparent legal technicality and we have the following observations to make.

3.1 Consultation.

Despite the fact that it must have been clear to both parties that this settlement would have a major detrimental affect on a considerable number of retired staff, at no time were their representatives consulted. It should be clearly understood that the T.U.Side have negotiating rights for pay and conditions which includes pensions, which are regarded as deferred pay. But the T.U.Side do not represent retired staff, they represent existing staff. Moreover the negotiations were conducted in the utmost secrecy and we, as representatives of the pensioners, were unaware that a settlement was imminent until it emerged into the public domain. By that time it was, of course, too late for the majority of pensioners to lodge claims with the Industrial Tribunal to comply with the terms of the settlement. We consider that this situation would be entirely unacceptable to any fair-minded independent observer and, in fact, borders on "sharp practice". Despite making representations to the Minister as soon as we became aware of the settlement, and despite supportive exhortations to the Minister from a number of MPs and MLAs neither he, nor any of his officials, have offered to meet us to discuss the issue.

The statutory requirement for consideration and consultation under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 was also effectively ignored in the application of this settlement, which was a new and unique policy designed to avoid the process of adjudicating on numerous cases at the Industrial Tribunal. It should have been very clear to those involved from the outset that the impact of such a policy would be to discriminate against a significant number of older people- one of the categories of persons specifically mentioned in the Act. This adverse impact would have been recognised in an Equality Impact Assessment required by the Act. This would have highlighted the need for consultation with those affected, or their representatives, to resolve the issues. In the event we were informed that no Equality Impact Assessment was undertaken and so we have lodged a formal complaint with the Equality Commission.

3.2 Legal Frame of Reference.

On a number of occasions the Minister has defended the exclusion of pensioners from this settlement by referring to Equality Law which he maintains he used as a " legal basis" leaving him, apparently in his view, no room to manoeuvre. Perhaps, but we would contend that the Minister used his discretion when it suited him (Ministers can, of course, do whatever they like so long as they do not break the law). In our view the process used, whilst apparently lawful, was not a legal process but an administrative one.

To begin with, this settlement was negotiated with the Union. Under Equality Law the Tribunal would simply make a decision based on expert advice.

Secondly, an offer was made to the Union. Again a Tribunal would simply hand down a ruling.

Thirdly, all serving staff, whether they had claimed through the Industrial Tribunal or not, were included in the settlement. The ruling of a Tribunal would apply only to individuals who had claimed.

Furthermore, as a condition of implementing the offer, all serving staff were required to withdraw their claims from the Industrial Tribunal thus negating any influence the Tribunal might have had on the settlement.

As a result of this process the only people to have been left out of the settlement, which has all the hallmarks of a normally negotiated pay deal, were the pensioners. We regard this as quite reprehensible since this outcome must have been obvious from the very outset of the negotiations. And yet nothing was done in mitigation.

3.3 The Moral Position.

It is always difficult to mount a moral argument when dealing with pay and conditions simply because what appears to be fair and reasonable to one person may seem to be precisely the opposite to another. However, in this particular case, we believe the evidence of unfair and unjust treatment is overwhelming.

Firstly, the pensioners concerned (and their representatives) were kept completely in the dark whilst negotiations were being undertaken and then, when it was too late, they were told they did not comply with the terms of the deal. They were never consulted nor were they given the opportunity to participate in the ballot of those affected by the deal.

Secondly, these pensioners had given loyal service to their Departments over many years. Many of them had served in difficult postings right through the "Troubles". For a number of years they had served alongside the serving officers covered by this settlement, doing precisely the same work, and being underpaid in precisely the same way. They simply did not deserve to be treated in this way.

Thirdly, they were members of the lowest grades in the administrative civil service, which means that they are in receipt of the lowest pensions. They would be in that part of the population that are most vulnerable from a financial perspective. In an Administration that claims to value older people and to be protective of the most vulnerable their situation should have been given priority.

4. Next Steps.

We hope that the DFP Committee will support our view that our pensioners have been treated unfairly in this instance. We hope that you will ask the Minister to use his discretion to find a way to rectify the situation. We believe the numbers involved to be relatively small (around 460) and the cost of a compensation package modest in comparison with the total settlement.

5.Thanks.

In conjunction with the Age Sector Platform and NIPSA Retired Members, who are parties to this submission, CSPA wish to thank the DFP Committee for giving us the opportunity to make this presentation.

In respect of the specific queries contained in Shane McAteer's letter of 10 December 2010 to Kieran I would make the following points

1. NIPSA is supportive of the case for a payment to staff who retired between February 2003 and 31st July 2008. While we were not able to secure anything for ex staff in this category in our negotiations we would have no difficulty with a decision to compensate the staff for this same period on the same basis as were staff who remained in employment on and after 1 August 2008.

2. Even if NIPSA members had not voted to accept the proposals to settle equal pay, staff retiring prior to 1 August 2008 would not have been able to benefit from any positive tribunal outcome, had that been the result, because of the time limits involved. There is no prospect of any such tribunal cases, according to our legal advice, being heard by a tribunal and therefore NIPSA is not pursuing any cases at tribunal on behalf of members who retired prior to 1 August 2008.

3. While there may not be any obvious legal obligation on the NICS to resolve this matter there is a compelling moral case for the NI Executive to approve an offer to this group of staff which reflects their service over the period 1February 2003 to 31st July 2008 and so for that period they would be treated on a par with their colleagues who remained in employment after 31st July 2008.

Kieran Bannon has I understand already given evidence along these lines to the Committee.

If Kieran Bannon is available before the Committee meeting I will ask him to contact you.

I hope you find this helpful.

Brian Campfield
General Secretary
NIPSA

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Mr Sammy Wilson MP MLA
Minister of Finance and Personnel
Craigantlet Buildings
Stoney Road
BELFAST
BT4 3SX

28 January 2011

Dear Sammy

NICS Equal Pay Settlement

At its meeting on 12 January 2011, the Committee for Finance and Personnel took evidence from the Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance (CSPA) on the NICS Equal Pay settlement. It was agreed that the draft Official Report of the evidence session should be forwarded to you for information.

The Committee understands that you have not met with representatives from CSPA on this issue. The Committee considers it important that you discuss the concerns raised with CSPA directly, and would request that a meeting is arranged at the earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely

Daithí McKay
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel

Enc

Correspondance from Sammy Wilson

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Norman Irwin
DFP Assembly Section
Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont

21 February 2011

Dear Norman

NICS Equal Pay Settlement

At its meeting on 9 February, the Committee for Finance and Personnel considered issues relating to the NICS equal pay settlement.

The Committee agreed to seek details of the Department's role in the consideration of equal pay settlements for staff in the PSNI, and the reasons for any delays in this regard.

I would be grateful for a response by 7 March 2011.

Yours sincerely

Shane McAteer
Committee Clerk

Committee for Finance and Personnel 
Room 419
Parliament Buildings
Tel: 028 9052 1843

From: Shane McAteer
Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel (CFP)

Date: 21 February 2011

To: Christine Darrah
Clerk to the Committee for Justice

Equal Pay Settlement

1. At its meeting on 9 February, the Committee for Finance and Personnel considered issues relating to the NI Civil Service equal pay settlement. Members agreed to seek details from the Department of Finance and Personnel in respect of any role which it has in the consideration of equal pay settlements for staff in the PSNI, and the reasons for any delay in this regard.

2. Members also agreed to request information from the Justice Committee on any consideration it is making of the PSNI equal pay issue.

3. I would be grateful for a response by 10 March 2011.

SHANE MCATEER
( 21843

Committee for the Office of 
First Minister and Deputy First Minister
Room 435
Parliament Buildings
Tel: +44 (0)28 9052 1903 
Fax: +44 (0)28 9052 1083

From: Cathie White
Clerk to the Committee for the 
Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister

Date: 24 February 2011

To: Shane McAteer
Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel

Subject: Equal Pay

At its meeting of 23 February 2011, the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister agreed to forward the attached correspondence from the Police Service of Northern Ireland regarding Equal Pay within the PSNI for your information.

Cathie White sig

Cathie White
Committee Clerk

Dale Heaney,

Given that:

a) much of the work of the OFMDFM Equality Directorate involves issues which cut across all Departments and its officials chair and participate in interdepartmental groups to take forward joint working on such issues,

b) that this directorate works closely with the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) on issues relating to victims and survivors, equality and human rights and with the NIO (presumably including provision of just/ fair treatment for staff within the DOJ),

and

c) that your role for the OFDFM seems to have oversight duties in regard to the Equality Commission, which seems to advise that a complainant may submit questions using an Equal Pay Questionnaire http://www.equalityni.org/archive/pdf/EqualPayModelPolicy0307.pdf (downloaded from the website of the Office of the First Minister Deputy First Minister at http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/equality/equalpay.pdf - see attachment)

I, along with all the longsuffering PSNI staff, request that one or all of these Departments, officials, Offices or committee members would consider how the OFDFM, and the responsible ministries, could hope to justify to the public why I may not have received equal pay in accordance with the Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 (or any other relevant legislation) then that they give an answer in line with the Sex Discrimination doc questionnaire above, since:

(i) PSNI Management have confirmed 08/10/10 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had provided the Equal Value case for police staff to DFP for discussion. (ii) This case was made in relation to the conciliated payment aspect of the NICS Equal Value settlement for staff in AA, AO and EOII and analogous grades - already implemented for NICS staff not PSNI staff. (iii) PSNI met with union representatives, 7th October 2010 to advise that this position has been reached. The PSNI Management expected that DFP would convene roundtable discussions in their deliberations of the case as presented. (v) That they, and the relevant Parliamentary Committees, were aware PSNI staff remains frustrated by the process the PSNI has been required to follow and they appreciated our patience as they continued discussions with DFP

As the PSNI and NIO already agree this settlement is to be taken:

In line with those of the NICS (the NIO having already acknowledged that it has been the established practice that police staff pay scales remain both before and since the break from the civil service in October 2008, cf. PSNI Human Resources Notice 01/2020, issued by Mr J Stewart, Director of HR, Police Staff Pay Assimilation - February 2009, 12 April 2010 (publically available copy attached).

If you feel this is not your direct/ indirect responsibility - but accept that this woefully prolonged situation should not continue to ping-pong between the PSNI, NIO, DOJ, NIPSA and the Courts as has been the case (and seems to be so for the foreseeable future) - would you kindly take up this issue with the First and Deputy First Ministers for a swift, hopefully out of court, settlement.

Thank you for any kind consideration,

PSNI Castlereagh
Alexander Road
Belfast.

Sex Discrimination

Equal Pay (Questions and Replies) Order (Northern Ireland) 2004
Made 4th August 2004
Coming into operation 25th August 2004

The Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by section 6B of the Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970(a), and of every other power enabling it in that behalf, hereby makes the following Order:

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Equal Pay (Questions and Replies) Order (Northern Ireland) 2004 and shall come into operation on 25th August 2004.

(2) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(b) shall apply to this Order as it applies to an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(3) In this Order—

"the Act" means the Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970;
"tribunal" means an industrial tribunal.

Forms for questions and replies

2. The forms set out in Schedules 1 and 2 to this Order or forms to the like effect are, respectively, hereby prescribed as forms by which—

(a) a complainant may question a respondent as mentioned in subsection (2)(a) of section 6B of the Act; and

(a) 1970 c. 32; section 6B was inserted by Article 30 of the Employment (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 (S.I. 2003/2902 (N.I.15)).

(b) 1954 c.33 (N.I.)

C:\DOCUME~1\taggarth\LOCALS~1\Temp\~8615827.doc

(b) a respondent may if he so wishes reply to any questions.

Period for service of questions

3. The period prescribed for the purposes of subsection (7)(a) of section 6B of the Act (period within which questions must be duly served in order to be admissible in proceedings before a tribunal under subsection (3) or (5) of section 6B) shall be—

(a) where a question was served before a complaint or reference had been presented or made to a tribunal, the period starting on 25th August 2004 and ending on the day before a complaint is presented to a tribunal; or

(b) where a question was served at or after the time when a complaint or reference had been presented or made to a tribunal—

(i) the period of twenty-one days beginning with the day on which the complaint or reference was presented or made; or

(ii) any longer period that the tribunal may on application allow.

Period for service of reply

4. The period prescribed for the purpose of subsections (4)(a) and (6)(a) of section 6B (power of the tribunal to draw inferences from an employer's failure to reply to a question within such period) shall be—

(a) except where sub-paragraph (b) applies, the period of eight weeks starting on the day that a question was duly served; or

(b) where a question was asked before 25th August 2004, the period of eight weeks starting on 25th August 2004.

Manner of service of questions and replies

5. Questions or, as the case may be, replies may be duly served—

(a) where the person to be served is the respondent, by delivering the question to him, or by sending it by post to him at his usual or last known residence or place of business; or

(b) where the person to be served is the complainant, by delivering the reply to her, or sending it by post to her at her address for reply as stated by her in the document containing the questions or, if no address is so stated, at her usual or last known residence; or

(c) where the person to be served is a body corporate or is a trade union or employers' association within the meaning of the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992(a), by delivering it to the secretary or clerk of the body, union or association at its registered or principal office or by sending it by post to the secretary or clerk at that office; or

(a) S.I. 1992 No. 807 (N.I.5)

C:\DOCUME~1\taggarth\LOCALS~1\Temp\~8615827.doc

(d) where the person to be served is acting by a solicitor, by delivering it at, or by sending it by post to, the solicitor's address for service.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister on 4th August 2004.

(L.S.) C.M.Bunting

A Senior Officer of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister
C:\DOCUME~1\taggarth\LOCALS~1\Temp\~8615827.doc

SCHEDULE 1 Article 2
EQUAL PAY ACT (NORTHERN IRELAND) 1970 S. 6B(2)(a)

Question Form (for complainant)

To Rt Hon Peter D Robinson MLA and, Martin McGuinness MP MLA, The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister Room 416, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast

1. I of PSNI, C'reagh, 2-4 Alexander Road, Belfast, believe, for the following reasons, that I may not have received equal pay in accordance with the Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970:

(i) PSNI Management having confirmed 08/10/10 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had provided the Equal Value case for police staff to DFP for discussion. (ii) This case was made in relation to the conciliated payment aspect of the NICS Equal Value settlement for staff in AA, AO and EOII and analogous grades - already implemented for NICS staff not PSNI staff. (iii) PSNI met with union representatives, 7th October 2010 to advise that this position has been reached. The PSNI Management expected that DFP would convene roundtable discussions in their deliberations of the case as presented. (v) That they, and the relevant Parliamentary Committees, were aware PSNI staff remains frustrated by the process the PSNI has been required to follow and they appreciated our patience as they continued discussions with DFP.

2. (a) I am claiming equal pay with the following comparator(s): In line with those of the NICS (the NIO having already acknowledged that it has been the established practice that police staff pay scales remain both before and since the break from the civil service in October 2008, as per the PSNI Human Resources Notice 01/2020, issued by Mr J Stewart, Director of HR, Police Staff Pay Assimilation - February 2009, 12 April 2010).

(b) Do you agree that I have received less pay than my comparator(s)?

(c) If you agree that I have received less pay, please explain the reasons for this difference.

(d) If you do not agree that I have received less pay, please explain why you disagree.

3. The Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 requires equal pay between men and women where they are employed on equal work, which comprises like work, work rated as equivalent, or work of equal value.

(a) Do you agree that my work is equal to that of my comparator(s)?

(b) If you do not think that I am doing equal work, please give your reasons.

4. (Any other relevant questions you may want to ask)

5. Please send your reply to the following address if different from my home address above.

………………………………………………………………………………….................................
(address)

………………………………………………………………………………….................................
(signature of complainant)

………………………………………………………………………………….................................
(date)

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By virtue of section 6B of the Act, this questionnaire and any reply are (subject to the provisions of the section) admissible in proceedings under the Act and a tribunal may draw any such inference as is just and equitable from a failure without reasonable excuse to reply within 8 weeks or from an evasive or equivocal reply, including an inference that the person questioned has discriminated unlawfully.

C:\DOCUME~1\taggarth\LOCALS~1\Temp\~8615827.doc

SCHEDULE 2 Article 2

EQUAL PAY ACT (NORTHERN IRELAND) 1970 S. 6B(2)(b)

Reply Form (for respondent)

To……………………………….................................. (name of questioner (the complainant))

of…………………………………............................... (address)

1. I…………………………………….......................... (name of respondent ) of……………….

(address) acknowledge receipt of the questionnaire signed by you and dated………………. (date) which was served on me on…………………….. (date).

2. Set out below are the complainant's questions and my response to them.

(a) Do you agree that the complainant has not received equal pay in accordance with the Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970?........(yes/no*). (If you do not agree with the complainant's statement, you should explain why you disagree.)

(b) Do you agree that the complainant has received less pay than his or her comparator(s)? ………………. (yes/no*).(If you agree, you should explain the reasons for any difference in pay. If you do not agree, you should explain why you disagree.)

(c) Do you agree that the complainant is doing work equal to that of his or her comparator(s)? ..............(yes/no*). (If you do not agree, you should explain why you disagree.)

(d) (Replies to the questions in paragraph 4 of the questionnaire)

3. I have deleted (in whole or in part) the paragraphs numbered ……………….. above, since I am (unable/unwilling*) to reply to the corresponding questions of the questionnaire ………………. (give question numbers from questionnaire) for the following reasons

………………………………………………………………………………….................................
(give reasons)

………………………………………………………………………………….................................
(signature of respondent)

………………………………………………………………………………….................................
(date)

(*) delete as appropriate

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Human Resources Notice 01/2010

FAO: All Police Staff
SUBJECT: Police Staff Pay Assimilation - February 2009
You are aware that discussions have been progressing between the PSNI, NIPB and NIO in relation to impact of the NICS Equal Pay settlement on Police Staff. On 9 April 2010, the NIO approved that the PSNI adopt the new pay scales as negotiated by Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) and that these be applied to staff working in the PSNI from February 2009. The NIO has acknowledged that it has been the established practice that police staff pay scales remain in line with those of the NICS, both before and since the break from the civil service in October 2008. This assimilation will only affect those in AA, AO and EO2 and analogous grades. However, in continuing to remain in line with NICS payscales, will also enable us to progress the pay award for August 2009 for all Police Staff once an agreement is reached by DFP.
What happens next? The Reward team are working to identify the correct pay action for each member of staff to assimilate onto the new payscales for submission to Civilian Pay by the end of April. Pay changes will be made and backpay paid in June 2010. The new payscales with effect from February 2009 are attached.
What does this mean in terms of Equal pay? The liability relating to Equal pay remains under discussion and we will keep you informed of developments. The new payscales with effect from February 2009 are attached.

Mr J Stewart
Director of HR

12 April 2010

Assembly Section

Craigantlet Buildings
Stormont
BT4 3SX
Tel No: 02890 529147
Fax No: 02890 523600
email: Norman.Irwin@dfpni.gov.uk

Mr Shane McAteer
Clerk
Committee for Finance and Personnel
Room 419
Parliament Buildings
Stormont

28 February 2011

Dear Shane,

NICS Equal Pay Settlement

You wrote to me on 21st February on behalf of the Committee regarding details of the Department's role in the consideration of equal pay settlements for staff in the PSNI, and the reasons for any delays in this regard.

The Committee is aware that discussions have been ongoing between the Department of Justice (DOJ), NI Policing Board (formerly PANI), PSNI and DFP regarding the entitlement of PSNI staff to the lump sum settlement payment. A draft business case was submitted by the PSNI to DOJ which was then passed to the Department for consideration of the legal arguments put forward by the PSNI. Given the complexity of the issues involved, a rigorous and objective assessment of all the relevant circumstances and documentation available had to be undertaken.

Following consideration of the legal arguments in the draft business case, the Department's view is that in 1996, a pay delegation was granted to the NIO pay group (including PANI) and, until devolution of justice on 12 April 2010, it had not been rescinded. Therefore there is no entitlement for police staff to have access to the NICS equal pay settlement, which applies only to those groups of staff for whom the NICS had responsibility for determining pay during the relevant time period.

I would like to reassure you that, given the complex and detailed nature of this issue, there has been no undue delay on the part of the Department.

Yours sincerely,

NORMAN IRWIN sig

NORMAN IRWIN

Committee for Justice

Room 242, Parliament Buildings
Telephone: 028 905 21629

From: Christine Darrah,
Clerk to the Committee for Justice

To: Shane McAteer,
Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel

Date: 7 March 2011

PSNI Equal Pay Settlement

1. At its meeting on 10 March 2011, the Committee for Justice considered your correspondence requesting information on its consideration of the PSNI Equal Pay Settlement. The Committee agreed to provide you with documents relevant to this issue and to inform you that a briefing by Departmental officials on Equal Pay Claim issues in relation to PSNI staff and Department of Justice staff is scheduled for the meeting on 15 March 2011 and that the Committee has also requested a briefing from Trade Union representatives on the issues at the same meeting.

2. The relevant documents are as follows:

  • Summary of Spending Proposal on the Equal Pay Claim – Annex A
  • Extract from Budget 2010 Paper for 4 November 2010 - Annex B
  • Extract from December Monitoring Round briefing paper of 22 November 2010 – Annex C
  • Correspondence of 24 November 2010 from the Minister of Justice - Annex D
  • Correspondence of 29 November 2010 from the Committee to the Department of Justice regarding the December Monitoring Round - Annex E

Christine Darrah
Clerk to the Committee for Justice

Annex A

1. Summary of Spending Proposal

Title: Equal Pay Claim
Responsible Officer: Director of Human Resources
Spending Area & UoB:   PSA/Objective  
Link to other bids:  
Date EQIA/HLIA assessment completed:  
Bid Consultees:  
Set out short summary of the main details of the spending proposal including alignment with Ministerial Priorities
This spending proposal reflects the NICS Equal pay settlement as directly applied to all PSNI staff. The seconded staff were by virtue of their employment status civil servants in the 6 year period to 1 February 2009 and this by necessity applies to directly recruited staff for pay and conditions- requiring the application to all staff groups in exactly the same way. The NICS Conciliated Equal Pay Settlement is in 3 parts

a) Assimilation onto revised payscales at 1 February 2009. This removes the equal pay risk with effect from the date of the submitted claim.

b) A Conciliated Payment per employee in the affected groups.This provides an agreed payment schedule to compensate all staff within the affected groups (regardless of whether they individually or collectively have lodged a formal claim).

c) Comprehensive Pay and Grading Review

This will amend the grading structure by agreement with TUS and set the grading analogy for all roles, which will determine the basic salary for these roles. PSNI Equal Pay Review is completed and Senior Counsel opinion has confirmed the legal risk and inherent flaws in the pay system. NIO approval to apply part a) has been implemented, however part b) has not yet been approved for application. The provision is made up of these factors. Actual assimilation costs up to 1 February 2009 (£6.13M) with £3.2M retrospective impact for 2009/10 and part b) Compensation costs for 1681 staff of £14,356M excluding employer costs. 5% sample set has been submitted to HMRC to confirm the employers contribution to be applied range 38-52% provision required £21.82M subject to HMRC confirmation. There is a potential for higher liability to emerge should the NICS settlement not be applied in totality.

2. Resource Requirements (£000's)

  Baseline Budget 2010 Resource Requirements (additional amount)
  2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14   2014-15
Resource 36,183 4,500 4,500 4,500   4,500
Admin            
Supporting evidence that level of resource requirement is the minimum necessary – include if includes depreciation and impairment
Figures as estimated as being the discharge of provision in 2010/11, with ongoing revenue pay costs relating to the implementation of the NICS assimilation pay award effective from February 2009
Could reduced scale of bid be delivered? No

3. Public Service Impact on PSA Key Performance Indicators (KPI's)

PSA Baseline   Projected Value
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
PSA KPI 1   No bid        
Bid        
PSA KPI 2   No bid        
Bid        
PSA KPI 3   No bid        
Bid        
How will spending proposal impact on PSA Key Performance Indicators and bring wider benefits to the public?
 

4. Extent to which costs are unavoidable

Unavoidable due to: Yes/No Details of why pressure cannot be avoided and or funded from within existing baselines?
Executive Pre-commitment    
Legal/Statutory Obligation Yes Implementation of Equal Pay Claim for NICS as impacted upon PSNI.
Price Inflation    
Maintain parity of provision with rest of UK    
Other 1-    
Other 2-    

5. Positive Equality and Sustainable Development Impact

Will the spending proposal have a positive impact in terms of: Yes/No Detail
Equality Yes Settlement of Equal Pay Claim by NICS staff applied equally to police staff under same terms
Good Relations Yes Equality of treatment for all staff engaged under NICS Terms and Conditions Mitigate the risk of industrial action by lower grade police staff
Poverty/Social Inclusion    
Sustainable Development    

 

Annex B

Annex C

Extract from December Monitoring Round Briefing paper of 22 November 2010

Potential PSNI equal pay costs

Work is still ongoing to determine the exact extent and quantum of any equal pay liability. DFP has stated that the DOJ should have contingency arrangements in place to fund possible equal pay claim costs in advance of the former military sites being sold.

Therefore, we will ask DFP to convert slippages in our capital budget this year into resource funding to cover any costs that might arise in 2010/11,on the assumption that when the military sites are sold in future, the proceeds will be added to the DOJ's capital budget.

Annex D

Correspondance from David Ford MLA
Correspondance from David Ford MLA

Annex E

Committee for Justice

Jane Holmes
DALO
Department of Justice
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast
BT4 3SQ

29 November 2010

Dear Jane

Re: December Monitoring Round

The Committee considered the departmental paper of 22 November 2010 on the December Monitoring Round at its meeting on 25 November and, as you are aware, agreed to request an oral briefing from officials at the next meeting on 2 December.

The Committee has indicated that it wants the officials to provide further information and answer questions on the following areas at the meeting and they should ensure they are in a position to do so:

Potential PSNI Equal Pay Costs

In particular an explanation of what is still to be determined, is there still an opportunity to submit a claim and how potential claimants that have not already come forward can be accommodated. Information on the current position regarding the Civil Service Equal Pay Settlement and the number of claimants involved is also requested.

PSNI Hearing Loss Costs

In particular an explanation of why the legal costs are so high in settled cases (the cost of legal fees is equivalent to the compensation being paid), what consideration has been given/negotiations taken place to reduce the legal costs associated with bulk claims/settled cases and why fewer cases will be settled this year than had previously been estimated. Harland and Wolff dealt with a series of hearing loss cases and any information on what basis legal costs were paid in these cases may be helpful and relevant.

In Year Budget Cuts

An up-date on the position in relation to ring-fencing and the impact of the in-year policing and justice Barnett consequentials.

I will be in contact to discuss the timing of the briefing session on 2 December.

Yours sincerely

Christine Darrah
Clerk, Committee for Justice

Correspondance from James Wells MLA
Correspondance from James Wells MLA

Committee for Finance and Personnel

Mr James H Wells MLA
12 Bridge Street
Kilkeel
Newry
BT34 4AD

24 March 2011

Dear Jim

NICS Equal Pay Settlement

At its meeting on 21 March 2011, the Committee for Finance and Personnel considered your correspondence of 16 March regarding the application of the NICS equal pay settlement to those retired from the Civil Service on medical grounds more than six months before the settlement date.

The Committee is concerned at the apparent anomalies that have arisen from the settlement and the position in respect of a number of groups which appear to be omitted from the settlement. The Committee has therefore recommended in its Legacy Report that its successor Committee pursues these issues in the new Assembly mandate. In addition, the Committee agreed to publish all correspondence in this regard on its website, and this will be made available in due course.

Yours sincerely

Daithí McKay
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel

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