UNISON Northern Ireland


UNISON notes the statement by the Minister of Health, Robin Swann MLA, which recognises the concerns of our members working in care homes on low pay, poor terms and conditions and inadequate sick pay, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. UNISON Regional Secretary Patricia McKeown said:

‘‘The Minister has now publicly committed to improving pay and terms and conditions for workers in care homes and to deal with the specific issue of sick pay during this pandemic. We very much welcome his focus on these issues which UNISON has been raising publicly not only throughout this pandemic but long before. We are convinced that the Minister will have to lead this review. His obvious concern coupled with his authority as Minister will contribute to raising the confidence of staff that something will be done to support them.

Our members will demand that UNISON be at the table when these proposals are being developed and decisions are being made. The input of UNISON will be essential to achieving real results.

We cannot exclude or forget about homecare workers. There also needs to be a plan to establish fair pay and decent terms and conditions for this section of frontline carers of the elderly and vulnerable who are also at considerable risk during this pandemic.

We wrote to Minister Swann last week calling on him to convene a forum on these issues. This should be convened without delay to discuss any proposals for immediate and planned action which he may be putting forward to the wider Executive.’’