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A letter was sent today to the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service from Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary UNISON.

Tomorrow (18th December) UNISON members across the whole health and social services system will be taking strike action.

Today (16th December) the Secretary of State is holding talks with political parties aimed at restoring the devolved institutions at Stormont. Commenting on these talks and the industrial action being undertaken by health and social services workers due to the lack of pay parity and unsafe staffing levels, UNISON Regional Secretary Patricia McKeown said:

To all UNISON members in health & social services.

UNISON's Education Committee notes with deep concern confirmation from the Chief Executive Officer of the Education Authority that a lack of funding is having a devastating impact on schools in Northern Ireland.

The Open University have released a statement for students ahead of next week’s planned strike action.

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.