§ Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many civil servants in Northern Ireland have resigned from the Civil Service as a result of the ongoing pay dispute; what recent steps he has taken to resolve the dispute; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Pearson
As far as I am aware no civil servants in Northern Ireland have resigned from the Civil Service as a result of the current pay dispute. Extensive negotiations over several months did not result in an agreed pay deal for the 11 Departments of the Northern Ireland Administration this year. Management Side presented an offer worth 3.67 per cent. on 5 November. As this could not be agreed, and Trade Union Side declined to negotiate within the 3.67 per cent. envelope, we took the decision to proceed to pay the award and communicated this to staff and Trade Union Side on 27 November. I have made clear to Trade Union Side that the 3.67 per cent. deal is the maximum that can be paid. We are however open to exploring other reasonable means of resolving the dispute. The latest meeting of the Central Whitley Council between Trade Union and Management Sides took place on Thursday, 19 February, and we have agreed to hold further negotiations as a matter of urgency.
Members of the NI Civil Service working in the Northern Ireland Office are subject to separate pay negotiations involving three Unions: NIPSA, PCS and the PDA. A formal offer of 3 per cent. was made to the Unions but was rejected. NIO intend to proceed to pay the award at the end of March.