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2016 Health Care Service Group Conference
18 December 2015

Conference notes that the Pay Review Body recommendation in 2014/2015 was treated differently by the government in all four parts of the UK and led to detrimental variations in the pay rates across the countries. This was repeated in 2015/2016. The consequences for our members in Northern Ireland are that we now have the lowest paid workers in the NHS in the UK.

Conferences notes that this situation presents serious consequences for the future of a unified pay structure across the NHS. The precarious nature of the Northern Ireland economy, caused in large part by the removal of more than £1.5 billion to the block grant has been used as a justification by the devolved administration and local employers for the accelerating withdrawal from the practice of pay parity.

Conference further notes the alarm of our members in Northern Ireland that consistent underfunding of the NHS is reflected in a shrinking block grant and that the UNISON challenge to the Westminster government to increase funding to the NHS is a battle the whole union must fight and win.

Conference recognises that UNISON Northern Ireland has pledged to campaign for a re-instatement of consolidated pay increases.

Conference calls on the SGE to:

1)Challenge the Tory government’s insistence on a 1% percent cap year on year on pay for the next four years.

2)To adopt a strategy that aims to lift NHS pay on a unified basis across the four countries.

Conference notes the PRB recommendation for an 11% pay award for MPs. Conference further calls upon the SGE to base our pay submissions / claims across the NHS to reflect this.