Unite calls on the Permanent Secretary for Department of Health, Richard Pengelly, to meet with trade unions to discuss extension of UK-wide pay and terms & conditions reforms to Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland healthcare workers have been left behind on pay as a result of political failure
October 18th: On behalf of his union’s healthcare membership, Unite Regional Officer Kevin McAdam welcomed legislation brought forward by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, which opened the door to movement on healthcare workers pay, and terms and conditions.
“Northern Ireland’s healthcare system is facing a staffing crisis – reflecting the failure to train sufficient staff but also due to the fact that healthcare professionals are paid substantially less than they would receive in the rest of the UK. As an example, paramedics in Northern Ireland receive a full eight thousand pound a year less than they get in England, Scotland and Wales.
“As a direct result of the absence of a functioning, locally-accountable Northern Ireland Executive, healthcare workers here have been denied the pay increase that has been agreed and extended to workers in all other parts of the United Kingdom.
“NHS workers in England, Scotland and Wales voted to accept a three-year pay deal tied to changes in their terms and conditions. This pay deal was funded by HM Treasury to the tune of £4.2 billion. Unfortunately political failure in Northern Ireland has left the corresponding funding here tied up. Healthcare workers know the money is waiting for them but can’t receive it.
“In this context, Unite welcomes this legislation which offers some hope that the logjam on NHS pay can be broken. We call on the Permanent Secretary for the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly, to open negotiations with the trade unions on pay immediately now that he has the authority to make this decision. There can be no excuse offered for the Permanent Secretary not engaging with us and taking action to address the healthcare pay disparity which is undermining the health and social care service in Northern Ireland”, Mr McAdam said.