Unite members vote to accept Department of Health commitments on pay parity and safe staffing proposals


Unite, Unison and RCN members vote to end industrial action which has impacted Northern Ireland’s health and social care service

Unite in Health’s four thousand members in Northern Ireland have voted overwhelming to end their industrial action after the Minister for Health, Robin Swann, committed his Department to deliver full pay parity with England and Wales and provided assurances around safe staffing.

Unite Regional Officer, Kevin McAdam, welcomed the decision and expressed his hope that the pay agreement would herald a new beginning for Northern Ireland’s health and social care system.

“Alongside Unison and the RCN, Unite has informed the Department of Health that our members have accepted the Minister’s new pay parity and safe staffing proposals. We will work with the Department of Health to implement the agreement on pay and deliver all aspects of safe staffing outlined in the agreed framework document. Continue reading

Posted in Northern Ireland news, Press Releases, Public Services | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

University Hospital Waterford: Cleaning staff to strike tomorrow (Tuesday)

Unite logo white out of redService provider Momentum told to clean up its act

Workers concerned at unilateral changes to conditions

February 24th: Over 125 Unite members working for cleaning services provider Momentum Support at University Hospital Waterford will take strike action tomorrow (Tuesday February 25th).  Momentum took over the cleaning services contract at UHW from the ISS facility services company in September 2019, and cleaning workers at the hospital – some with over 20 years’ service – moved to the new company under TUPE.

Commenting on tomorrow’s strike action, Unite Regional Officer Tony Kelly accused Momentum of seeking to impose changes to working conditions without consultation:

“Our members have suddenly found themselves assigned to different work areas and tasks without either consultation or explanation, contrary to long-standing practice at the hospital.  They have been forcibly moved to different areas because they refused to take up duties that are specific to other employees and are paid at a higher rate and attract different allowances.  These duties include the emptying and collection of bins, currently carried out by male staff due to physical requirements and paid at a higher rate in accordance with agreements between Unite and the former service provider.

“This is having a negative impact on the quality of the service provided. At the same time, our members are concerned that new entrants, employed at lower terms and conditions, are being exploited to undermine existing agreements.  While workers who transferred from ISS receive a €1.49/hour supplement, or site allowance, over the ERO rate, new entrants do not receive this supplement which may be worth up to €50 per week – a significant amount for low-paid workers earning just above the Minimum Wage. This new pay structure has the potential not only to create divisions between workers doing the same job, but also to drive down workers’ pay in the medium term”.

Continue reading

Posted in Press Releases, Republic of Ireland news, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

If NI Executive is serious about social inclusion, rural access and addressing climate challenge, proper funding for public transport is essential

Unite 041Departmental warning over future collapse of Translink, Northern Ireland’s public transport provider, reflects consequences of long-term underfunding

Collapse of Translink would leave swathes of Northern Ireland without public transport and would spike carbon emissions through forcing a return to the car

Unite Regional Coordinating Officer for public transport, Davy Thompson called on the Stormont Executive to act quickly to address the funding crisis threatening the future of Translink’s publicly-owned public transport provider after Department for Infrastructure public transport expert, John McGrath, told the Infrastructure Committee that the company was in jeopardy as a result of years of underfunding.

“Unite represents the overwhelming majority of drivers, engineers and inspectors employed by Translink, Northern Ireland’s public transport provider and today’s expert evidence comes as no surprise. In 2015, members of our union brought public transport services and Northern Ireland to a standstill repeatedly to defend against austerity-driven threats to town centre routes, rail services and rural runs. Continue reading

Posted in Northern Ireland news, Press Releases, Public Services | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solution to filling hospitality vacancies is paying more and improving working conditions not lowering salary thresholds

nmIn response to Brexit labour supply pressures, employers must move to make hospitality and tourism attractive sectors for young workers

Unite Hospitality Campaign Coordinator, Neil Moore, criticised the UK government’s new hard-right migration controls but also challenged Northern Ireland employers in the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors to respond to the challenge of unfilled vacancies by making jobs more attractive to young people through increasing pay and working conditions.

“Both Hospitality Ulster and the NI Retail Consortium have rightly challenged the Conservative government on the harsh, right-wing system of migration controls that they are seeking to impose post-Brexit. These controls will result in significant labour shortages in the hospitality, tourism, retail and food and drink sectors and pose particular problems in Northern Ireland. It is clear that the government of Boris Johnson is pursuing an increasingly right-wing course: to divert attention away from continued austerity and falling standards of living with divisive migration policies.

“Instead of responding to this by seeking to compete in the race-to-the-bottom on wages and terms and conditions, bosses here should make their sectors more attractive to young entrants. This is a hugely profitable industry – they need to use those profits to pay more, improve working conditions and end exploitative contractual forms”, Mr Moore said. Continue reading

Posted in Campaign for Decent Pay, Living Wage, Northern Ireland news, Press Releases | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Workers at Allied Bakeries vote to accept improved pay offer and end industrial action

Allied Bakeries - victory

Result confirms that union-organised workforces can win

Susan Fitzgerald, Regional Coordinating Officer for Unite, commended the workforce at Allied Bakeries in Northern Ireland whose decisive and powerful strike action on Sunday won a significantly improved pay offer which was subsequently accepted by the workforce, ending the industrial dispute.

“The workers at Allied Bakeries have voted overwhelmingly with a ninety percent majority to accept the significantly improved pay offer made by the company. This provides an above-inflation pay increase and will mean that instead of real terms incomes falling as would have been the case with offers only days ago, these workers will now enjoy a real-terms pay increase.

“This outcome was hard won and was only achieved through the strength and militancy of the workers themselves. Indeed the failure by management stooges to breach the workers’ picket line was the decisive factor in winning this uplift and forced bosses to the negotiating table. Continue reading

Posted in Campaign for Decent Pay, Living Wage, Manufacturing, Northern Ireland news, Press Releases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment