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SF staff set for pay cut as party axes equal wage policy

By David Young, PA

Published 19/05/2016

Sinn Fein has ended its equal pay policy for party workers, claiming new financial regulations at Stormont have made the practice impossible
Sinn Fein has ended its equal pay policy for party workers, claiming new financial regulations at Stormont have made the practice impossible

Sinn Fein has ended its equal pay policy for party workers, claiming new financial regulations at Stormont have made the practice impossible.

The party traditionally paid the average industrial wage - around £26,000 - to all its staff here, be they politicians or office workers.

Its 28 MLAs will continue to be paid that wage, with the rest of their salaries going to the party, but Assembly staff are now set for a pay cut.

The party claimed new rules introducing a banded salary scale that were brought in by the Independent Financial Review Panel forced the change.

Some staffers are understood to be so angry that they are considering leaving their positions before the new Assembly gets up and running.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said: "The party has had a long-standing wage policy to ensure all full-time staff and elected representatives are treated equally on pay.

"This was done with the goodwill of all involved and in accordance with the rules of the various institutions and in compliance with all legal obligations. Recent changes in the northern Assembly mean this is no longer possible.

"We are implementing the new regulations set down by the Independent Financial Review Panel.

"We have concerns about the implications of these regulations for workers' terms and conditions, including on maternity/paternity and sick leave."

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