UNISON and other trade unions meeting Minister Simon Hamilton later this week will warn that unless pay parity is restored in line with the recommendation from the Pay Review Body as happened in Scotland, health workers in Northern Ireland will launch a campaign involving industrial action and mass lobbying of political parties in the run up to the Assembly elections in May.
Anne Speed speaking on behalf of UNISON, the largest trade union in the health sector representing thousands of nurses, health care assistants, social care staff and support staff across the community and acute services, stressed “the fact that workers in the health service in Northern Ireland are now the poorest paid in the health service is intolerable. Any suggestion that the repeat in position of an unconsolidated 1% pay award is an insult. All the more so when MPs received a pay uplift of 11%.
“The pay envelope presented to trade unions in June of this year was short by 50% and we made it clear that the Minister would have to come to the table to meet us. One off pay uplifts mean in reality that the value of pay and pensions is declining year on year. Health trade unions in NI will insist that this outcome is reversed.”