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UNISON social and domiciliary care workers have been steadfast in their support for the unions' campaign of industrial action to win an inflation busting pay rise. In Northern Ireland our members in media interviews highlighted their frustration with at delays in achieving an improvement. The negotiations at UK level are stalled. 

UNISON joined with other health unions to push for increased funding. The political stalemate however only allows for the DOH budget to be maintained at current levels unless instructed otherwise by the Secretary of State. 

UNISON have been informed of the strike by a number of teaching unions on Tuesday 21st February for a half day.

UNISON members and all support services staff in schools are not involved in the teachers' dispute and are required to attend work unless told otherwise by the school principal.

Our UNISON Health members on strike that day will be joining with teachers at early morning local rallies and in Belfast .

Significant pay award is vital after years of cuts and restraint.

Three local government unions, representing 1.4 million council and school employees in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, have today (Tuesday) submitted a pay claim that calls for an above-inflation wage rise.

UNISON, GMB and Unite say a significant pay award is vital after years of local authority spending cuts and pay restraint.

The claim, which would apply from the start of April, is for council employees to receive a wage rise of 12.7%*.

This is an important update for members as some information has been circulating and members are asking what happens next.

The need for a review was first agreed in 2019 as the NJC two year deal for 2019-2021 was agreed. One of the main trade union side goals was to reduce the number of points on each pay level.

Discussion between EA and trade union side started but unfortunately the COVID pandemic emerged, and the discussions were suspended.

In the absence of talks health workers across Northern Ireland are stepping out and standing up.  Today thousands of health staff will withdraw from their workplaces in pursuit of pay justice.

Anne Speed Head of Bargaining and Representation at UNISON Northern Ireland said 

"It is an appalling situation when trade unions willing to negotiate have all doors closed to them.  It is therefore inevitable that this action today is happening.

Health workers cannot stand idly by or stay silent.  And why should they?

UK government Minsters have got to drop their resistance to engagement with health trade unions on pay, and the Northern Ireland Secretary of state should include in his proposed budget provision for retrospective adjustment on the 2022 below inflation PRB recommendation.

This is the message that health members of UNISON will be delivering when they start a 24 hour walkout on Thursday January 26th.

Following a meeting of all UNISON senior lay reps across all Health Trusts 

Anne Speed Head of Bargaining at UNISON said|

UNISON on behalf of thousands of our members in non-teaching staff within Education, welcomes the decision of the Education Authority Board to reject demands by the Department of Education to starve the Education Sector of £110million of funding.

UNISON members working in the statutory domiciliary care service are calling for improved mileage subsidies which meet their unique needs in Northern Ireland.

The impact of the increased cost of fuel along with the cost of living crisis continues to have a significant impact on Social Care workers across the region leaving UNISON members feeling undervalued, unsupported and underpaid.

The Education Trade Union Group (ETUG) which represents Teacher and Support Unions* within the Northern Ireland Education Sector met today. In response to the announcement today from the Education Authority of severe budgetary cuts, the ETUG issued this statement:

Regional Health Trade Union leaders have written to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland seeking a direct meeting with him.

They said "As the talks commenced yesterday with political parties and business leaders, it is essential that engagement also includes Trade Unions." Anne Speed lead negotiator said " The Secretary of State for Health in England has met with Trade Unions. Today the Health Minister for Wales will meet with Trade Unions. The Scottish Government has directly negotiated with Trade Unions.  No one is talking to us.