Return to NHS pay parity across all UK nations needed to guarantee integrity and sustainability of NHS services in Northern Ireland
Funding for Agenda for Change restructuring must be extended as well as UK-wide pay increase
November 22nd: Unite Regional Officer for Health Kevin McAdam has stated that today’s press release from the Department is a missed opportunity to address the pay gap between Northern Ireland health and social care workers and those in other parts of the UK.
“We, the trade unions, are disappointed that the Department of Health have ignored the funding available to properly put our health staff on an equal footing with the rest of the UK workers. Again the Department have put a sticking plaster on a condition where the cure is there and funded!
“Health workers’ pay in Northern Ireland has been lagging further and further behind that of NHS workers in England, Scotland and Wales. This situation has come about notwithstanding the fact that the money for this pay award has already been transferred to Departmental budgets but has not yet been released.
“As well as extending the UK-wide pay increase, we need to see the roll-out of the Agenda for Change restructuring which is already ongoing across the rest of the UK and which has been fully funded by the Treasury. Because of the failure to review the grades of healthcare workers here, the pay gap with those doing the same jobs in England, Scotland and Wales has been even further exacerbated. As an example a paramedic in Northern Ireland is paid £28,462 – a full eight thousand pounds less than they would receive in Scotland.
“The Department’s failure to address the yawning pay gap has led to a situation where Northern Ireland NHS workers are paid considerably less than they would be anywhere else in the UK. This is causing difficulties in the recruitment and retention of skilled and experienced healthcare workers and threatening a severe impact on the sustainability of local health services”, Mr McAdam concluded.