Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 05 December 2016

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission

Meeting Venue: Room 106, Parliament Buildings

Meeting date: Monday 5 December 2016

Meeting Time: 4.00pm

Commission Members:
The Speaker
Mr Jim Wells MLA
Mr Alex Maskey MLA
Mr Alex Attwood MLA
Mr Stewart Dickson MLA

Mr Ross Hussey MLA

Officials present:
Mrs L Hogg, Mr G McGrath, Mr R Stewart, Mr S Welch, Mr R Ramsey, Mr J Gilsenan and Mrs J Hughes

Others in attendance:

The meeting commenced at 4.25pm.


An apology was received from Ross Hussey MLA.


The Speaker thanked Members for attending this single agenda item meeting to conclude discussions on the 2016 pay award for Secretariat staff.

At the Commission meetings of 15 and 24 November, Members agreed on five of the six issues relating to the award.

A decision is now required on the outstanding issue to provide officials with direction to assist in concluding negotiations with Trade Union Side.

Mr Alex Maskey MLA asked for it to be noted that he was unhappy that a question regarding Secretariat pay had been raised in oral questions to the Commission on 29 November 2016. He considered that pay award discussions should have remained confidential given that these were ongoing.

Mr Alex Attwood MLA noted that discussions within party groups regarding Commission business were standard.

The Clerk/Chief Executive summarised the areas previously agreed.

There followed a discussion during which Members agreed on a desire to improve staff terms and conditions where possible. However, various views were aired regarding the need or otherwise to be mindful of and take account of other public sector agreements.

Agreed: The Commission formally agreed its position regarding the aspects of the pay award discussed on 15 and 24 November 2016:

  • An increase of 1% to all pay points across all pay scales as at 1 August 2016 with a set increase of £500 for all pay points for Assembly Grade 8 staff.
  • From 1 August 2016, all eligible staff whose performance meets the stated requirements would receive a one-step progression to the next spine point on the existing Assembly Secretariat pay scales;
  • The removal of the current band minimum pay point for staff at AG8;
  • The AG8 grade to have a 3-point pay scale, the AG7 grade to have a 4-point pay scale and all other grades from AG6 to AG1 to have a 5-point pay scale;
  • No change to annual leave arrangements; and
  • An undertaking to consider any evidence provided by Trade Union Side in relation to a best-practice approach to paid paternity leave.

Without consent being reached on the outstanding aspect of the pay award, a motion supporting a 1% revalorisation for the top spine point of each grade was put to the vote.


Jim Wells MLA 37 votes
Alex Maskey MLA 28 votes

Total: 65 votes


Alex Attwood MLA 12 votes
Stewart Dickson MLA 8 votes

Total: 20 votes

The motion was carried.


Officials confirmed that responses were being drafted for additional questions raised during Oral Assembly Questions to the Commission on 29 November 2016.

The meeting concluded at 4:56pm