News Banner


Today’s Autumn statement by the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP, did not provide funding to restore pay parity for all NHS workers in Northern Ireland, who are still without a pay award.  Responding to the Autumn statement, UNISON Head of Bargaining and Representation, Anne Speed, said:

‘‘UNISON members working across health and social care services will be extremely disappointed and frustrated by the continued lack of funding to meet their legitimate demand for pay parity with their colleagues across other parts of the NHS.

Yesterday in Belfast, trade union leaders representing working people in all professions and occupations met to discuss the pressures faced by everyone in Northern Ireland compounded, by derisory pay offers and the financial decisions of the NI Secretary of State, Chris Heaton-Harris MP.

Speaking after the meeting, ICTU Assistant General Secretary Gerry Murphy said:


UNISON members across the whole Education Authority are joining picket lines on Thursday November 16th across hundreds of schools throughout Northern Ireland.  Thousands of UNISON members have decided to stand up and be counted. They have decided they have been waiting too long.  They want pay justice.

See below details of the Education picket lines happening on 16th Novemebr 2023.

North Belfast

UNISON lay leaders in EDUCATION support services have met and pledged to continue our campaign to win reform of the EA pay and grading system. Plans are well advanced to mobilise members who, on Thursday, will mount picket lines at hundreds of schools across Northern Ireland.

A decision was also taken to continue action short of strike until at least the end of January 2024.

UNISON members have been on Action Short of Strike since October 16th and are taking strike action on November 16th. They want to deliver a strong message to all that with or without a sitting Assembly or Executive a fair reform of their pay agreement has to be delivered. The sustainability of a dedicated workforce depends on a just resolution to their long-standing demand.


“Statements by the Secretary of State, Chris Heaton-Harris, concerning public sector pay are misleading at worst and disingenuous at best”, said Gerry Murphy, Assistant General Secretary of NIC-ICTU.

The NJC pay uplift (covering NI, England and Wales) due since April 1st 2023, has finally been agreed.

We recently updated members on the long delay in resolving this issue. Efforts to improve on the offer were unsuccessful and it has taken some months to confirm that members of the negotiating unions would accept the initial offer.

We have now asked the Education Authority to confirm payment and make all necessary arrangements to ensure education workers are paid without delay.

UNISON education support service employed by the Education Authority will begin action short of strike on Monday 16th October across hundreds of schools and EA workplaces.  Thousands of UNISON members in roles as classroom assistants, general assistants, in catering, cleaning, transport and estate management will work to rule. 

The outcome of the Supreme Court ruling (Agnew) on the absence of certain payments in periods of annual and sick leave will raise significant expectation among many thousands of workers. Many cases across the public and private sectors have been stayed pending the outcome of this case.  The Supreme Court Judgment which will now mean backpay can be sought for thousands of workers potentially going back to 1998. The cost to the PSNI alone will be at least 40 million pounds.