Justice Minister welcomes suspension of strike action by police staff after interim agreement

Northern Ireland Justice Minister Naomi Long has welcomed the suspension of industrial action by police civilian staff.

Jul 9, 2024
By Paul Jacques
Justice Minister Naomi Long

The news comes after “a constructive and positive meeting” on Monday (July 8) hosted by the minister with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) and Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) to discuss the Revised Environmental Allowance (REA) for police civilian staff.

Trade union NIPSA said an interim agreement had been reached with the PSNI over the REA.

At the meeting, Ms Long reiterated her support for an uplift in the allowance and offered her continued support to the PSNI and the NIPB to help them deliver it.

She said: “The announcement by NIPSA to suspend strike action is welcome and shows a real and shared determination by all parties to resolve this long-standing issue to a successful conclusion.

“I remain conscious of the need to undertake due diligence for public funds, however, the discussions with NIPSA yesterday, and the proposal made last week, should offer reassurance to members.

“I do not underestimate the crucial roles police staff undertake across the organisation and I will continue to work with the chief constable and the Policing Board to aid them in delivering the longer-term sustainable REA position.”

The industrial action was scheduled to take place across July 11-13, one of the busiest periods for the PSNI when annual Orange Order and Royal Black Preceptory parades take place, as well as loyalist bonfires.

In a statement on Tuesday (July 9), NIPSA said: “A series of meetings have taken place over the last few weeks with the chief constable, the Justice Minister for Northern Ireland and the Policing Board and these have led to the decision to postpone the planned strike action.

“It has been agreed that some of the terms on the business case, and a lump sum payment of REA, will be put in place as soon as possible.

“This interim measure will allow additional time to achieve full implementation of the business case and continue negotiations and as a result, the planned action has been called off and the PSNI staff will remain operational this week.”

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