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‘We believe the Court of Appeal got this decision completely wrong and will do everything we can to reverse it’

UNISON has asked the Supreme Court this week for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal decision that care workers’ sleep-in shifts do not count as work time and do need to be paid in line with the national minimum wage.

The Supreme Court will now decide whether to grant the union the right to appeal against the July decision by the Court of Appeal.

UNISON notes media reports over recent days in relation to an adult safeguarding investigation that is being undertaken in relation to Muckamore Abbey Hospital. 

We are aware of the ongoing investigation at Muckamore Abbey Hospital and UNISON is supporting all our members at the Hospital during this period.  UNISON has met with our members to discuss any concerns they may have in these circumstances.  Ensuring the safety of all patients and service users at Muckamore Abbey must be a priority. 

Anne Speed, UNISON's lead negotiator for health unions in Northern Ireland, expressed no surprise that the pay cap has been lifted by the Department of Finance.

Today is a day first and foremost for celebrating - for marking a landmark birthday and emphasising  that the founding NHS principles remain just as relevant 70 years on.  Over the last 70 years the NHS has saved countless lives and been a powerful agent for social change.   

It is also a time to say thank you to the health and social care workforce past and present, who often work in difficult circumstances to deliver care for the public good. Everyone plays a part in making the delivery of services happen and everyone should have that contribution recognised.

On Saturday 30th June, UNISON members, activists, branches and self organised groups came together with the local community and other NIC ICTU affiliated unions to commemorate the 70th birthday of our wonderful National Health Service. The event, organised by NIC ICTU, saw parades march from Writers' Square, The Mater Hospital and The Royal Victoria Hospital. The parades merged at the City Hall to hear heartfelt speeches from various health service workers, union officials and the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Deirdre Hargey.

TODAY, the Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Deirdre Hargey stood with workers from across the Health Service and called for the people of Belfast to show their love and support for their NHS.

The event promoted is the trade union march and rally celebrating the 70th birthday of the National Health Service, to be held at 2:30pm Saturday 30 June at Belfast City Hall, following marches from the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Mater Hospital and Writers’ Square.

UNISON views it as completely unacceptable for any workers to be subject to any threats or intimidation of this kind.  We condemn any persons making such threats and expect Runwood Homes to take action to protect our members in their place of work.


Union vows to fight for the rights of all people in Northern Ireland

UNISON vowed to support members in Northern Ireland and the union’s structures in the nation to defend the Good Friday Agreement and work for human rights, when its national delegate conference opened for business in Brighton this morning.

Motions on delivering on the promise of the agreement, and protecting human rights and equality in Northern Ireland were at the top of the agenda as delegates began their discussions.

"UNISON is not just a trade union, it is a family,” president Margaret McKee declared as she marked her final presidential week by opening the union’s national delegate conference in Brighton this morning.

She told delegates that it had been a great honour to be president for the past 12 months, though she had her first experience of presidential duties in tragic circumstances the year before, alongside then senior vice president Carol Sewell, when president Eric Roberts tragically died part way through his term.

On Friday 8th June, UNISON’s Head of Bargaining and Representation, Anne Speed, together with trade unions and the Education Authority JNC, signed the Joint Declaration of Protection for Dignity at Work and Inclusive Working Environment.