Civil servants protest over unpaid wage settlement
Several hundred civil servants braved pouring rain to demonstrate in Belfast and Londonderry today against the delay in implementing an equal pay deal promised by Executive ministers last year.
In May 2008 First Minister Peter Robinson, while still Finance Minister, announced the Executive would resolve the outstanding equal pay claims by thousands of low paid civil servants - he said staff would get six years back-pay.
However the civil servants union NIPSA said a full year on there had been no formal offer from Civil Service Management to implement the commitment.
NIPSA general secretary John Corey said civil servants were angry and frustrated the minister's public commitment had not been implemented.
Mr Corey said: "NIPSA has called these rallies to highlight the fact that thousands of low paid civil service staff are being denied their equal pay entitlements.
"On May 15 last year the minister announced publicly that the long standing equal pay claims for civil servants would be resolved and staff were also promised six years of back-pay.
"That money should now be in members' pockets but instead a year later no offer has yet been tabled to resolve the claims."
He said the union had made it clear time and again the union was committed to negotiating a resolution and members were rightly angry at the unacceptable delay in a settlement.
NIPSA officials met current Finance Minister Nigel Dodds last week to press for swift action to settle the claims.
It said the minister had given assurances the Executive stood behind the public comments of a year ago to negotiate a settlement.