UNISON Northern Ireland

We are now hours away from the most critical strike in the history of our health and social services system.

Tomorrow (18th December) UNISON members across the whole health and social services system will be taking strike action. Commenting on the strike action, UNISON Regional Secretary Patricia McKeown said:

“Everyone with power and authority in this society has conceded that our cause is just. We have had ‘sympathy’ from the UK Government through the Secretary of State, from all political parties that stood on our picket lines and from the leadership of the health service. But we have no resolution. 

UNISON has agreed emergency cover and our members have volunteered to provide it. We have never seen such determination in health workers who have been devalued and disrespected for almost 5 years. For 3 weeks they have stood up for their rights and have now put the health service at the top of the political agenda.

Despite their sacrifice there is still no action from those in power. It would appear that health workers, patients and the public at large are being used as pawns in a political game.

As we enter this significant period in the industrial struggle the consequences lay firmly on the shoulders of the UK Government, our elected politicians and the leadership of the civil service. The decision they take in the next few hours will have lasting consequences in our society either for good or for ill.”