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Call for civil servants to be repaid wages lost during strike action

A request for parity was made after news health workers who took industrial action will be reimbursed as they battle Covid-19.

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All civil servants should be repaid the money they lost during strike action in Northern Ireland, trade unionist Alison Millar said (Liam McBurney/PA)

All civil servants should be repaid the money they lost during strike action in Northern Ireland, trade unionist Alison Millar said (Liam McBurney/PA)

All civil servants should be repaid the money they lost during strike action in Northern Ireland, trade unionist Alison Millar said (Liam McBurney/PA)

All civil servants should be repaid money they lost during strike action in Northern Ireland, a trade unionist said.

The call by Nipsa general secretary Alison Millar comes after Stormont deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill said health workers who took industrial action will be reimbursed as they battle Covid-19.

Ms Millar said of the workers she represents: “Many of these staff are now classified as key workers and will ensure that many vital public services will continue to be delivered during the next weeks and months ahead.

“I am calling on the finance minister (Conor Murphy) and his Executive colleagues to now recognise the vital role that civil servants deliver and reimburse the pay deducted from Nipsa members who took strike action since 26 July 2019.”

This is clearly an issue of equality and equal treatment for all public sector workersAlison Millar

Three days’ pay taken from striking health service workers in Northern Ireland will be reinstated, Mrs O’Neill said on Friday.

Nurses left hospital bedsides earlier this year in a campaign for pay parity with other parts of the UK and what unions said were safer staffing levels.

They are now on the frontline of the response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is beginning to spread rapidly across Northern Ireland.

Mrs O’Neill said staff walked out in January in a bid to create a health service able to respond to a crisis like this.

She added: “We hope that sends out a clear message in terms of our recognition of those workers who work on our behalf.”

Ms Millar welcomed the powersharing administration’s intervention.

Nipsa members across the Northern Ireland civil service and related bodies took between three and six days of strike action since last July.

Other members in the courts and Public Prosecution Service took up to 12 days’ action in February and March of this year.

Ms Millar added: “This is clearly an issue of equality and equal treatment for all public sector workers.”

PA