UNISON Northern Ireland


Dear UNISON member

You have shown incredible determination and commitment throughout our industrial dispute in health and social services.  My personal thanks and congratulations to every one of you for taking a stand against pay injustice and unsafe staffing.

You have all played a crucial role.  We know that this action has not been easy and that you have had the safety of patients and service users at the forefront of your mind throughout.  I particularly want to thank those members that agreed to provide emergency cover, ensuring that the rights of the most vulnerable patients were protected.

After the many sacrifices you have made to get to this point, we now have a proposed Framework Agreement for the resolution of this dispute.  We are recommending that you accept this agreement and will be moving swiftly to ballot for your endorsement.  Our industrial action has now been suspended during this period.

This agreement restores pay parity with health workers in England with effect from 1st April 2019.  It also sets out a framework for safe staffing. You will soon be receiving further information from us about how this agreement will affect you.  Take time to study it carefully and ask your branch representatives any questions that you may have.

Your courageous stand not only for your rights, but for the rights of patients and the public, has had a remarkable impact.  The public support has been enormous and unwavering.  They know that you all have taken this action on their behalf too.

Each one of our 26,000 members directly employed in the health service played their part in the campaign.  Our other 18,000 members in education, community and voluntary sector, and delivering other public services stood with you in solidarity throughout the dispute.

We now face the challenge of rebuilding our health service, protecting your rights and the rights of patients and clients alike.  Be assured that your union is with you now and in the future.

Congratulations on your superb action,
Yours faithfully
Patricia McKeown
Regional Secretary