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"It shows local government employers are beginning to understand the financial nightmare school and council staff are living through. But it's not enough to make up for a decade and more of lost wages."
The unions’ joint 2022 claim, which applies from 1 April 2022, would have  seen council and school employees receive either a £2,000 rise or the current rate of RPI (presently 11.8%), whichever is higher. The three unions say ​staff working in local government have seen an average of 27.5% wiped from the value of their pay since 2010. 

The announcement from the Pay Review Body and endorsed at Westminster of a recommended consolidated sum of 1400 pounds on each pay band point falls below the joint Health Unions demand for an above inflation pay rise.

Many health workers across Northern Ireland will be deeply disappointed and frustrated that the pressure of the cost of living will continue to bear down on them.

Even more alarming is the fact that this recommendation comes with no additional funding and is to be met from within current budgets.

This is reported as a temporary measure for 6 months while we await the longer-term report of the NHS Staff Council Review of AFC Travel Terms and Conditions. 

UNISON across the UK will continue to campaign for early implementation, along with more permanent solutions via the NHS Staff Council, to ensure inflationary rises apply to all elements of the mileage affected above and below the 3,500 mile cut off. 

UNISON knows only too well that the recent amendment to the scheme does not provide enough relief on the immediate shortfall of cash in your pocket

UNISON has been in negotiations with Belfast Trust management on the new Women and Children’s Hospital and the planned phased opening over the next two years. It came to our attention that PCSS management, namely catering, were planning to close all hot food facilities at the weekends.


UNISON RVH branch responded by raising challenges on two fronts -


  • The impact on our members and their current weekend working patterns;


  • The impact on service users and staff not having hot food available at the weekends.


The NIC-ICTU is organising a trade union led rally/demonstration at Stormont for 12 noon on Saturday 25th June 2022.

Speaking today Owen Reidy Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU said:

"Workers and their families can no longer endure inaction on the cost of living crisis. Inflation is now at 9% and predicted by some to increase to 11%.

Health workers in UNISON Northern Ireland will be joining the Cost of Living Crisis protest at Stormont on Saturday June 25th.

UNISON will be bringing our message that we are demanding an inflation busting pay rise.

Across the UK our union is mobilising from June 18th onwards to drive home a clear message that our members are determined to secure better pay. A pay review body announcement is expected shortly but this is expected to fall far short of what workers need and expect.

Amid fears that thousands of families in the north would miss out on free school meal entitlement over the summer months due to the lack of an Executive at Stormont, this announcement is to be welcomed.

Ministers had originally agreed in 2020 to pay for meals for eligible children during the school holidays, but funding for the payments was only agreed until Easter 2022.

It has now been confirmed payments will be given out over the summer holidays this year to families of 98,000 children.

UNISON believes only a significant rise will help protect services and enable staff to weather the growing cost of living pressures following a decade of local authority cuts and pay restraint.

The 2022 claim, which would apply from the start of April, would see council employees receive either a £2,000 rise at all pay grades or the current rate of RPI (presently 11%), whichever is higher for each individual.

This would lift all council and school employees back above the real living wage.

Commenting today (13th May) as MLAs are due to attend the first sitting of the Assembly, UNISON Northern Ireland Head of Bargaining and Representation Anne Speed said: 

‘‘Now the election is over, UNISON members want to see MLAs from all parties getting to work to deliver for them and their families.  

MLAs first order of business should be dealing with the cost of living crisis and putting pay right for key workers across our health, social care and education services, such as hospital porters, care workers and classroom assistants. 

On the 12th May the theme of International Nurse’s Day is “Investing in Nurses”, no better phrase at this time is more appropriate. The cost of living crisis has brought home to the UNISON Nursing Family that NHS pay is not sufficient for many to pay the bills, food, fuel etc. Many of our Student Nurses struggle to live on bursaries without supplementing their bursary with paid work. The UK Government has under invested in the NHS and has privatised many of our services and paid an exorbitant amount of money to agencies and locums.