Northern Ireland

Civil servants to be offered 5% pay increase and one-off £1,500 payment

Stormont Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald put forward the offer following industrial action by public sector workers, including civil servants.

Members of Nipsa outside Belfast City Hall, Belfast, as an estimated 150,000 workers took part in walkouts over pay across Northern Ireland
Industrial strike Members of Nipsa outside Belfast City Hall, Belfast, as an estimated 150,000 workers took part in walkouts over pay across Northern Ireland (Liam McBurney/PA)

Civil servants in Northern Ireland have been made an offer of a 5% pay increase and a one-off £1,500 payment.

Stormont Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald put forward the offer which comes after industrial action by workers calling for pay parity across the UK.

The action included in January one of the biggest strikes seen in Northern Ireland in recent history by public sector workers, including civil servants.



The offer includes a 5% increase to the majority of Civil Service pay scales, bringing up the pay of the lowest-paid staff to the voluntary Living Wage Foundation rates of £12 an hour or £23,177 annually – a 10% increase – performance-related progression and a £1,500 non-consolidated payment to staff eligible for the 2023 pay award.

Stormont Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald
Northern Ireland Assembly talks Stormont Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald (Liam McBurney/PA)

It comes following negotiations with Civil Service trade unions.

Those unions are now set to confer with their members over the offer.

Following the restoration of devolved government earlier this month, Ms Archibald said her department aimed to move quickly.

“Following meetings with recognised Civil Service unions last week, I am pleased to have been able to move quickly to make this pay offer for civil servants which recognises their role in the delivery of public services,” she said.

“Civil servants, like other public servants, have been waiting some time for their 2023 pay award against the context of a cost-of-living crisis and pressures on their own household budgets.

“I hope staff will look favourably on the offer and that unions’ consultation with their members will proceed as swiftly as possible so we can get pay to staff as soon as practicable.

“Our public sector workers are at the heart of service delivery. We have a challenging journey of enhancing services in the time ahead for which we will need the expertise of our staff.”

Nipsa, the largest union representing civil servants in Northern Ireland, said it was recommending the offer to its members.

General secretary Carmel Gates told BBC Radio Ulster: “When we were considering the claim we took into consideration that this is the first above-inflation pay increase or offer that we’ve had in decades.

“On top of that, the £1,500 – which is the non-consolidated offer – brought it to what we believe is acceptable in terms of compensating to some degree people for the derisory award that we got last year in 22/23.”

She added: “We feel that this was enough to bring us up to make it acceptable. Now, having said that, we’re close to August and our new pay award, so, what we want to do is build on increasing inflation-busting pay awards to restore some of what we’ve lost over the last decade.

“We’ve lost about 30% in the last 10 years, so this the beginning of the journey rather than the end.”