UNISON Northern Ireland

A message from Patricia McKeown



To ALL UNISON members in health & social services

13 December 2019

Dear Colleagues


As we prepare to enter our 4th week of industrial action across our health service I want to express congratulations and thanks to all our members who have led the way in standing up for your rights and for the People. Through the sacrifices you are making the crisis in health & social services has become the No.1 issue, not just for the media and politicians but for the public itself. More and more people are recognising that you are all standing up for their rights as well as your own.

You have shown leadership; you have taken responsibility for critical decisions to protect patients and clients and you have brought your case to the media with the strong voice of truth. Thank you to all members who have contributed through television, radio, newspapers and social media.

Over the past 2 days all focus has been on the General Election. We now turn our attention back to the MLAs and MPs representing the People of Northern Ireland. We have written to and received responses from most of the main parties expressing support for our action and our cause. We must now hold them to their word.

As the political parties prepare for fresh talks with the UK Government at Stormont on Monday 16th December we are demanding that a resolution to this dispute becomes the priority. We want the return of a devolved Government. We want it on the basis on an equality and human rights framework. We are reminding them that the health and wellbeing of the People is the key equality and human rights issue across our society.

Industrial action now escalates towards 18th December when others are due to join the action commenced by UNISON on 25th November and joined by the RCN on 3rd December. The clear message we are receiving from our members across all occupational groups is that they are in this for the long haul, until justice is done for health workers and until real resources are allocated and real change, that involves them, begins. Stay Strong!

Yours sincerely,

Patricia McKeown

Regional Secretary of UNISON Northern Ireland