UNISON Northern Ireland’s retired members’ forum today welcomed Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland junior minister Jennifer McCann.
Ms McCann’s visit follows that of her fellow junior minister, Jonathan Bell, and constitutes part of a concentrated campaign to highlight the rights of retired and older people in society.
Issues discussed with Ms McCann ranged from pensions to winter fuel allowance and welfare benefits to anti-age discrimination laws.
However, the burning concern was the potential closure of NHS residential care homes in Northern Ireland.
In recent months, UNISON has fought a campaign against the health minister and the Health and Social Care Board’s plans to stop admissions to care homes and, effectively, evict residents from their homes and into the waiting arms of the private sector.
Ms McCann vowed to take all concerns of the retired members’ forum back to Stormont and return to UNISON with answers.