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10 June 2014

Question Time - Finance and Personnel Monday 9 June 2014



Finance Minister Simon Hamilton answered questions on matters including equal pay claims in the Northern Ireland Office and the police service, procurement issues, and the 2015-16 budget.

The Minister was asked for an update on the equal pay claim from Northern Ireland Office and PSNI administrative staff and whether the paper that he has submitted to the Executive deals solely with those in PSNI and the NIO or whether it includes the small number of workers in NI Water who are in a very similar situation.
The Minister replied with " it was clearly established in court that the equal pay settlement applied only to periods of service in the Northern Ireland Civil Service and did not apply to bodies such as the NIO and PSNI. So there is no valid equal pay claim. However, I am aware how strongly affected staff feel about this issue, and I have worked to find a way in which the moral argument that has been raised could be recognised in some way. As a consequence of that work, I recently circulated a paper to my Executive colleagues outlining a recommendation that will result, I hope, in a satisfactory resolution of the issue for this group of staff. The recommendation and any expenditure will require the agreement of the Executive.

Regarding the Ministers response for the NI water staff the Minister explained that this was a matter for the Minister of Regional Development.

Budget 2015 - 16, June monitoring round, Desertcreat and Health Service payroll problems where the questions asked to the Minister during the 15 minutes of topical questions.