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Today (5th December) UNISON has engaged in good faith with both the Secretary of State and the Department of Health in relation to our members’ ongoing dispute over the lack of pay parity and unsafe staffing levels.

Today (4th December) the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, has spoken publically about the ongoing industrial action by UNISON health workers. Responding to these public statements, UNISON Regional Secretary Patricia McKeown said:

“We know the Chief Medical Officer to be a genuine advocate for reducing health inequalities. We also know the system has failed to reduce inequality. Seven years ago the Chief Medical Officer shocked the public by speaking out about the failings in our health system. He stated, with evidence, that working class people were dying prematurely and those living in the most disadvantaged areas now had a lower life expectancy than they had during the years of conflict here.

That situation has not improved. It has worsened. It worsened when we had a devolved government. It worsened in the absence of a devolved government and still no one in power takes responsibility.  

UNISON welcomes their nursing family members joining the industrial action this week and next week.

On Monday 2nd December, councillors at the Belfast City Council meeting voted unanimously to support a motion to support health workers taking industrial action.

Health trade unions met yesterday and considered the content of the second statement from the Department of Health.

Today (2nd December) UNISON health and social services workers will commence a second week of industrial action over unsafe staffing levels and the lack of pay parity with NHS workers in Scotland, England and Wales.

Today (28th November) UNISON members at Craigavon, Musgrave Park and Omagh Hospitals will commence strike action over unsafe staffing levels and the lack of pay parity with NHS workers in Scotland, England and Wales. Strike action will continue at Belfast City Hospital.

Today (26th November) UNISON has learnt that the Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health has decided to cancel the All Ireland Chief Nursing Officers Conference that had been scheduled to take place in Belfast on 3rd December due to planned industrial action by nurses.

Today (26th November) UNISON members across the entire health and social services system will continue industrial action in the fight for pay justice and safe staffing levels.

With the UCU higher education trikes starting today, UNISON NI is sending the UCU members on strike our strongest support and solidarity.

UNISON members, alongside UCU members, have experienced the effects of real-term loss in wages and what it means for our standards of living.  UNISON members, alongside UCU members, have experienced rising workloads and increased stress.  UNISON members, alongside UCU members, are aware of the impact of the gender pay gap, the ethnic pay gap, and the insecurity of being employed by contractors or on precarious contracts.