DUP North Antrim MLA and Chair of the Assembly’s Justice Committee Mervyn Storey has accused the Department of Justice of setting aside previous agreements by imposing the 2021 pay award on prison staff in Northern Ireland.
Commenting after raising the issue at Stormont on Tuesday, Mr Storey said:
‘‘It is my understanding that this pay award has been thrust upon the Northern Ireland Prison Service without formal consultation with the Pay Review Body.
This is an act of bad faith to local staff and will only serve to underline working relationship between the leadership of the Prison Service and the Department.
Previously, industrial action was avoided on the basis that future pay settlements would be led by the established process led by the Pay Review Body. This solo run raises the real prospect of future disruption to frontline prison services.
It is crucial that our hard-working and professional prison staff receive fair terms and conditions. I have written to the Minister to raise these concerns and will continue to advocate on behalf of those who provide a vital service in what remains an extremely challenging workplace.’’