UNISON Northern Ireland

Statement from Health Joint Secretaries update for all members

Statement from Health Joint Secretaries update for all members

Following the imposition of the one year pay uplift on Agenda for Change Pay Bands, trade unions resolved to continue to pursue discussions on pay parity with the Department of Health and HSC employers. Our aim continues to be the inclusion of health workers in the AFC Refresh framework agreement now in place in England, Scotland and Wales

While DOH has agreed to facilitate and participate in discussions with trade unions and employers on a pay uplift for 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, the Department continues to refer to the absence of a Minister as a restriction on what might be achieved. The yearly application of funding for devolved government, whether it is functioning or not is also cited as another restriction.

Trade union side have consistently challenged this approach and argued that health workers in Northern Ireland must have access to more than a year on year pay uplift as available to workers in other parts of the UK Agenda for Change Refresh framework.

We are committed to pursuing a fair and decent outcome for our members. The pay gap is expanding, recruitment and retention issues are growing and safe staffing consequences are becoming more visible.

We have all agreed to an effort to push forward to deliver for our members. To that end we have committed to a series of meetings over the next two months with the DOH and employers to try and reach a mutually acceptable outcome for our members.

Success depends on the ability of the Department and the employers to ensure that those holding the finances both here and at the Treasury recognise their responsibility to health workers in Northern Ireland and do the right thing ... pay them.

We will keep members updated as we move forward.