Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


HELD ON 24 MAY 2007
AT 11.30AM IN ROOM 106

The Speaker
Mr Stephen Moutray
Mr Paul Butler
Rev Robert Coulter
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Sean Neeson

In Attendance: Mr A Moir, Mr T Logue, Mr T Evans, Ms C McGowan, and Ms C Foster. Mr E Hobson, Mr I MacNicol (Scottish Parliament) and Mary Nicoll (Scottish Parliament) were present for Item 1. Mr R Good and Ms C McGivern were present for Item 3.


The Speaker welcomed Members to an ad hoc meeting of the Assembly Commission. He informed Members that the main purpose of the meeting would be to receive a presentation from Officials from the Scottish Parliament on their experience relating to the introduction of a new pay and grading system.

The Speaker proposed that the minutes from the last meeting and any matters arising were carried to the next formal meeting of the Assembly Commission.

The Speaker welcomed Mr Ian MacNicol, the Head of Personnel within the Scottish Parliament, Mary Nicol, their Head of Employment Policy and Evan Hobson, the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Head of Personnel.


1.1 Mr MacNicol provided the Commission with the background to the introduction of the Scottish Parliament’s new Terms and Conditions and in particular the implementation of their pay and grading system. Mr MacNicol provided Members with details on how the exercise was carried out, the evaluation process and highlighted the roles played by their Senior Staff, the Personnel Section, the Consultants and the Trade Union officials.

1.2 Mr MacNicol highlighted the lessons learned and offered suggestions for consideration by the Assembly Commission when introducing a new pay and grading system.

Mr Maginness left the meeting at 12.05.


2.1 Mr Logue informed Members that he had received a Written Question from Mr Tommy Gallagher MLA, asking if the Assembly Commission had any plans for Assembly staff and officials to participate in the Day of Reflection on the 21 June 2007.

2.2 Mr Logue informed Members that the Healing through Remembering project had promoted the day as a private day of reflection, during which no organised public events were taking place.

2.3 The Commission agreed a response to the Written Question on the Day of Reflection. It was agreed that all staff would be issued with a hyperlink to the organisation’s website which sets out details of the Day of Reflection.


3.1 Mr Evans tabled a paper outlining the proposed policy on starting pay for new Secretariat staff. Mr Evans confirmed that he had now met individually with Commission Members to provide background details to the policy.

3.2 Ms McGivern highlighted the legal implications in relation to the introduction of the starting pay policy. Mr Moir advised that there were two distinct but related issues, the desirability of a revised starting pay policy and the potential impact of that policy upon some officials. He explained that legal advice had been obtained on the second issue and suggested that it should be discussed at the next meeting. Mr Butler requested a copy of the legal advice and it was agreed that this would be issued.

3.3 The Commission agreed the recommendations of the paper in principle, and agreed that Mr Evans should raise the draft policy, through the Whitley process, at the next meeting with Trade Union Side. The Commission agreed that following consultation with Trade Union Side, a final draft policy should be tabled for consideration by the Commission.

3.4 The Commission agreed to a request from the full time Trade Union official that he should be invited to an early meeting.


4.1 Mr Moutray requested details of any outstanding litigation against the Assembly Commission.

5. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Assembly Commission will be held on Thursday 7 June 2007 at 10:00 am in Room 106.

The meeting ended at 12.40 pm.

Tony Logue
Clerk to the Assembly Commission

17 May 2007 / MENU