Unite proceeding to a consultative ballot of members over further strike action
November 2nd: Unite Regional Officer, Kevin McAdam, called on the public to come out and support a protest called by his union and supported by all healthcare unions. The protest has been called over the mounting impact of NHS cuts and the failure of Minister Simon Hamilton to deliver a one per cent pay increase for 2014/2015, as recommended by the Independent Pay Body, as well as his failure to engage with trade unions over the 2015/16 pay claim.
“NHS professionals in Northern Ireland are the only ones in the UK still waiting for the one percent increase recommended by the Independent Pay Body for the 2014/15 tax year. We haven’t even received a response from the Minister to the pay claim for the current year. The result is that healthcare workers in Northern Ireland have witnessed their incomes decline in real terms by fifteen per cent since 2010.
“There is huge loyalty to the NHS but healthcare professionals are walking away in their droves because they can no longer afford to work for the health service or take the mounting work pressures caused by ever greater cutbacks and recruitment freezes.
“Unite has called a protest at the steps to Stormont at 12.30pm on Wednesday, November 4th where our members will demonstrate their frustration over the NI Executive’s failure to reward hard-working healthcare professionals with a miserly one per cent pay increase. The protest has now been backed by all unions in the healthcare sector and will send out a signal that we stand united in defence of the NHS and against poverty pay.
“Following on from this protest, Unite will proceed to a consultative ballot of our members over their willingness to return to strike action on this issue. We have been pushed into this situation by the antics of Minister Hamilton. Perhaps since the Minister won’t meet us in his office, we might meet him on the picket line!” Mr McAdam concluded.