22/05/2003

NI social workers begin 48-hour strike

Social workers across Northern Ireland went on strike today as part of an ongoing pay dispute with local health services.

Up to 1,600 workers from 11 health trusts began their two-day industrial action this morning which follows a similar 48-hour strike in April this year.

Workers want an increase in the starting salary from £18,000 to £22,000 claiming they earn £4,000 less than other similar employees in the health service.

Discussions between, Nipsa, the public service union, and health chiefs are continuing in a bid to resolve the dispute.

It is understood that an interim pay offer is being considered.

(MB)

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