Rebecca Black, PA
Workers at the Stormont Assembly have voted to take strike action.
An all-day strike is planned for Thursday, May 12th, and Nipsa members are to adhere to contracted working hours only from Friday, May 13th, as well as a ban on overtime starting on the same date.
A ballot of members saw 81.3 per cent support industrial action including strike action, and 88.9 per cent backed industrial action short of strike action.
The union said it is in dispute with the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission over the imposition of a two per cent pay increase from August 1st, 2021, which it said does not address the significant increases in the cost of living.
It has also expressed concern at a planned new working from home policy that, it said, imposes severe restrictions on members working from home.
Dooley Harte, of Nipsa, urged management to re-engage to resolve the situation.
“The result of this ballot provides clear evidence if needed to both management and the politicians sitting on the NI Assembly Commission that the imposition of the two per cent pay increase and a new restrictive working from home policy is not accepted by our members,” he said.
“In all the literature for the Assembly elections, our political parties have spoken about the need to address the cost-of-living crisis.
“However, they have agreed the imposition of an effective pay cut on NI Assembly staff.
“Couple this with a restrictive working from home policy that will force staff to attend Parliament Buildings when they would prefer to work from home, saving the cost of travelling to work, and members will have a further cost imposed for working for the Assembly.
“There is still an opportunity to resolve both these matters and avoid this unnecessary industrial action.
“We would urge the management to re-engage with Nipsa to bring a solution to 2021 pay and the divisive working from home policy before these actions take place.”