UNISON Northern Ireland


Today (2nd December) UNISON health and social services workers will commence a second week of industrial action over unsafe staffing levels and the lack of pay parity with NHS workers in Scotland, England and Wales.

Commenting on the beginning of week 2 of the industrial action, UNISON Regional Secretary, Patricia McKeown said:

“Last week brave UNISON members took a courageous stand in response to the growing crisis across the health and social services system. I want to pay tribute to the public for their expressions of support. They know that the workers’ cause is just.

Today the campaign of industrial action will intensify as we continue the fight for pay justice and safe staffing levels.

We have written to the Head of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretaries in the Department of Health and Department of Finance in response to their joint statement on the industrial action. We have made it clear to them that we remain open to further discussions but only on the basis that the resources needed are made available. 

We have proposed that the Head of the Civil Service and his colleagues make direct representations to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the UK Treasury to secure these resources.

When such resources are made available we are fully prepared to re-engage in further discussions. In their absence our dispute with the HSC employers will continue.

We await their response.”

All UNISON members across the entire health and social services system will today continue industrial action short of strike. Categories of staff taking this action will include nursing, ambulance service staff, support services staff, admin, clerical and managerial staff, social services and social care staff, professional and technical staff and all those staff working across the various health services agencies.

Today the following groups of UNISON members will take strike action:

  • Belfast HSC Trust  support services (including porters, catering, security, domestic services, laundry services, Xray/imaging Department, car parking, pharmacy)

Pickets at Royal Victoria Hospital , Belfast City Hospital, Mater Hospital, Musgrave Park Hospital at 8:00am

  • Pharmacy staff in the Western HSC Trust (pickets at Altnagelvin Hospital and South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen at 8:30am)