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UNISON Nursing Forum have jointly met with Chief Nursing Officers from the 5 Trusts.

Our nursing reps spoke of their deep concerns on the major demands on the HSC nursing workforce and the increasing challenges they are facing.

Among the issues raised are:


It is with deep sadness we report the loss of our friend and colleague Noeleen O'Kane (Beattie) who died on 12 December in Foyle Hospice.

Noeleen was an inspirational local leader in UNISON. She worked as a Classroom Assistant (SEN) in Ardnashee School in Derry. She was dedicated to her job and to our members as a long serving activist in Derry Education Branch, as a champion for education members throughout Northern Ireland and as a highly committed local organiser for the region.

UNISON Northern Ireland has launched a major consultation with our members working in the HSC.

Thousands of health staff are receiving either an email or postal communication seeking members views on key issues.

First on the list is the issue of pay. UNISON across the UK has already rejected the 3% PRBs recommendation, currently the only uplift health workers will receive for the 2021-2022 pay uplift due since last April. UNISON campaigned on a ONE Team 2k demand.

Today (3rd December) marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities. UNESCO’s theme on this day is: “Leadership and participation of persons with a disability towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world.” Today also sees the first ever sitting of the NI Assembly’s Disabled People’s Parliament.

UNISON, the largest public sector trade union in Northern Ireland is calling on all governments and the Northern Ireland Executive for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in society, including covid-19 response and recovery.

UNISON Northern Ireland is soon to launch a consultation with our members in the HSC. Following a report back from recent meetings with the Health Minister and Department of Health Workforce Directorate officials, our health committee has decided to inform and consult members.

Without an opportunity for collective bargaining denied by the Westminster Government on Agenda for Change Pay for NHS staff, all health unions were left with a recommendation from the Pay Review Body of 3%. This falls short of the UNISON claim of ONE Team 2k.

Commenting today (25th November) on the announcement by the Health Minister Robin Swann MLA that he is to offer up to £23 million in funding for domiciliary care and the wider social care sector to improve rates of pay, 

UNISON Northern Ireland Head of Bargaining and Representation Anne Speed said: 
‘‘This is a step in the right direction by the Minister but we require urgent engagement via the Social Care Fair Work Forum with him, his officials and employers to gain assurances that this extra funding will genuinely benefit the workforce.

The UNISON Northern Ireland Nursing Forum at its most recent meeting has pledged to continue to speak out and support our nursing family members.  Forum Chair Nurse Alan Philson stressed "members are not only coping with immediate pressures from the latest covid surge but we are also bearing the brunt of underfunding mismanagement and absence of workforce, palling over a number of years".

A comprehensive guide to Equality and Human Rights in Northern Ireland under the Protocol was launched today by the Social Change Initiative in collaboration with the Human Rights Centres and Queens and the University of Michigan.

UNISON contributed to the case studies and we are encouraging our union reps to use it as needed.

We will be organising practical workshops on its use as a tool to secure our members' rights.

Unions representing unpaid and distressed workers at Court Care Home in Ballymoney received the full support of every union across Northern Ireland today.