Demonstrations organised for Craigavon Area Hospital and Bangor Hospital at 10am on Monday
Unite lead officer for health, Kevin McAdam has expressed the frustration of his members over the Minister’s failure to deliver on the Independent Pay Body’s recommendation for a one per cent pay rise.
“This second stoppage reflects our members’ anger over what is happening to our NHS.
“Over the past years, we have experienced cuts in service, recruitment freezes and down-gradings across the service with remaining staff being asked to stretch further and further. NHS workers’ pay has been eroded by fifteen per cent over the past four years while their pension contributions have increased three per cent in the same period – this has not been to cover costs but to go directly into treasury coffers in order to pay for the bankers’ bailout.
“Now our members are being told that they have to forego a recommended one per cent pay increase. This cannot go on. Enough is enough.
“The Independent Pay Review body was established by government to determine health workers’ pay but now we have government reneging on their miserly one per cent pay increase recommendation even though the Health Trusts had already factored this cost into their budgets.
“Despite statements by Minister Wells to the contrary, his Department has not provided health workers with a pay rise. His claims are a dishonest sleight-of-hand attempting to confuse a pay rise with pay increments received in recognition of employee professional development and skills acquisition.
“Only those at the top of their scale will be given a one-off payment equivalent to one per cent. This payment will not be added to pay and will not count towards pensions although it will be fully liable for tax and national insurance.
“Our members cannot and will not sit back and take further cuts to our pay. We have to stand up for the service we provide. We are all proud of our NHS and what it stands for but what we see now is it being damaged deliberately and patient safety compromised in favour of balancing books and making austerity cuts.
“Health workers are striking for fair pay as part of a good and effective service but we’re also standing up for the service, for our friends and families that need it and for a service that cares about people not pounds.”