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.

“This pay award was secured through workers taking industrial action – indeed, it could be argued that the striking NHS workers were instrumental in securing the re-establishment of the power-sharing institutions themselves. I want to commend our union’s team of shop stewards and reps and our wider membership on what is a historic victory for our NHS. No longer will Northern Ireland health workers be treated as second-class as compared to their colleagues in England and Wales.

“This deal opens the door to reversing the staffing crisis which has been driven by declining pay rates. We hope that the Minister’s decision will herald a new beginning for the NHS in Northern Ireland”, Mr McAdam said.

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