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23 – 29 October 2017

UNISON supports the campaign for safer and healthier work, so promotes the European Health and Safety Week and the UK National Inspection Day on the Wednesday of the Week.

This year’s theme remains  “Healthy workplaces for all ages” and good workplace design and well managed health and safety benefit all of those at work; whether young, old, or in-between.

Today (13 October 2017) UNISON, the largest union in the health service, will challenge all five Health Trust Boards to refuse to comply with a demand for cuts.

UNISON representatives will speak at all five Trust Board meetings and are expected to say:

‘‘Chair, Board members

We start our contribution by paying tribute to the public and our members who have spearheaded a public campaign over the past 6 weeks – a campaign that has very publically rejected these outrageous and dangerous cuts. 

Today (11 October 2017) the Department of Health has announced that £40 million has been found for the health and social care budget, following on from a proposed £70 million in cuts across the five Health and Social Care Trusts.  Responding to this announcement, UNISON Regional Secretary Patricia McKeown said:

‘‘It comes as no surprise that the Department of Health has had to give way in the face of People Power.  The public was always going to reject outrageous proposals to strip older people of their right to care and inflict further hardship on patients on waiting lists.

On Thursday, UNISON sprung into action to respond to the consultation on proposed cuts in five of the health trusts. UNISON regionally submitted a response to each Trust raising concerns and highlighting various impacts the cuts would make on staff, service users and members of the public. At local level, branches lobbied their own Trust areas by submitting responses, petition signatures, speaking at public meetings and protesting against the cuts. 


The members and staff of UNISON Northern Ireland mourn the passing of our former General Secretary, Rodney Bickerstaffe, a champion of working class people everywhere and our good friend. 

We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Pat and to all the family. We will truly miss him. 

Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary, UNISON NI

Today (Tuesday 26th September) UNISON members and health service workers, gathered at Stormont to protest against the proposed £70 million cuts across the health Trusts. 

Speaking at the protest, organised by NIC ICTU, UNISON's Anne Speed said: "There are profound concerns about the actions taken by Mr Pengelly and his department, which will, as publicly stated by clinicians, put patients and clients at risk and are causing widespread public concern".

NHS unions are today (Friday) breaking with tradition and submitting a pay claim directly to the government on behalf of more than one million health workers across the UK.

UNISON is challenging all 5 Health and Social Care Trusts to refuse to make the further £70 Million cuts demanded by the Department of Health. UNISON is demanding that the Trusts say 'enough is enough' and refuse to make cuts that will damage the health of the public and threaten the rights of our members. 

UNISON are fighting hard to protect our members, their families and their communities from these cuts. We will not stand aside while the public suffers and will use all means to protect the future of our public health service and our members. 

Tomorrow (24th August) UNISON, the largest union in the health service, will challenge all five Health Trust Boards to refuse to comply with a demand for a further £70m in cuts.

The Trusts have been asked by the Department of Health to produce these cuts, despite the absence of a Commissioning Plan, and in the face of financial crisis.

UNISON will remind all Trusts that they have both legal and moral obligations to the people of Northern Ireland and to the health service workforce.