06 June 2011
Further to the branch secretary circular dated 23 May 2011 this is to remind branches to convene general meetings of members in preparation for a statutory industrial action ballot of all NIPSA members employed in the public sector. This ballot is likely to take place during September but final details of the arrangements for the ballot will be communicated to branches at a later stage.
At the Annual Delegate Conference of the union last week delegates unanimously endorsed the call by the General Council that the union should ballot its members on industrial action on the government’s attack on public sector pensions, jobs and pay. The resolution endorsing this call was as follows:-
“Conference welcomes the work carried out to date by the General Council to secure united and coordinated industrial action by public sector trade unions in Northern Ireland in defence of jobs, pensions and pay.
In particular Conference recognises that the attack on public sector jobs will lead to a deterioration in public services and represents not only an assault in public service jobs but also on the whole community in Northern Ireland, especially those sections of our society which are less well off and which rely more heavily on public service provision.
Conference endorses the decisions of the General Council at its meeting on the 20th May 2011 including:-
(a) The plan to initiate a statutory ballot of NIPSA members on pensions, job cuts and pay freezes in the Autumn.
(b) The objective of ensuring united and coordinated industrial action by unions organising in the different areas of the public sector.
(c) The prioritisation of the work of the union to ensure a “yes” vote in ballot and the convening of branch meetings in June to prepare members for the ballot.
(d) The coordination of any action by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
Conference reiterates the view that there is an alternative to the government’s austerity plans and deficit reduction programme and that the trade union movement should take an active lead in mobilising the whole of the community in Northern Ireland against public spending cutbacks and attacks on the welfare state.”
The importance of engaging with members on this matter cannot be underestimated and branches should proceed to make arrangements for general meetings of members during June.
It is recommended that branches should invite a speaker from NIPSA HQ or from the General Council to ensure that the strongest possible case for a “yes” vote is presented to members. Please contact Aidan McDonnell at NIPSA HQ telephone 028 9066 1831 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a speaker.
Finally I would be grateful if you could also email Aidan confirming that a meeting has taken place and provide some indication as to the number of members in attendance and their response to the plans being initiated by the union’s General Council.