17/10/2018

NHS Workers To Ballot Over Strike Action

Health workers across Northern Ireland may be gearing up for industrial action, as calls for increased pay and better working conditions persist.

It was announced that UNISON, the health workers' union, will carry out a 'consultative ballot' of staff, with a view to conducting a further ballot that could ultimately lead to industrial action.

The move comes amid ongoing anger over pay and working conditions. It was recently revealed that some NHS staff are being offered food bank vouchers as they struggle to cope financially.

In a statement issued UNISON said they are calling for "an immediate 3% interim pay uplift and measure to lift band one workers to the Living Wage, in line with the other three UK regions".
News Image
The statement continued:"But the powers that be are not listening and they continue to use the political stalemate as an excuse. They have been told that the workforce will not wait indefinitely and that your frustration and determination to break through the logjam is not going away. The system needs to hear YOUR voices."

The initial vote will give staff an opportunity to let decision makers know that they are prepared to formally ballot for industrial action if the stalemate continues.

"Health workers in Northern Ireland should not be treated as second class. UNISON members will be consulted during 3 weeks in November."

Arrangements for electronic and postal balloting are underway and it is expected that other unions will soon follow suit with plans for industrial action.

UNISON added: "Health workers in Northern Ireland cannot access funding for the Agenda for Change UK's wide Reform and Refresh framework. It is simply appalling that once again Northern Ireland is last on the list on the scale of pay bands. Scotland, England and Wales have already agreed specific pay reform terms and conditions deals."

(JG)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 October 2002
NI firefighters balloted over strike action
UPDATE: Firefighters across the UK have voted in favour of holding strike action in the next stage of their dispute over pay. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members voted to begin their industrial action on October 29 - the first firefighter's strike in Britain for 25 years.
28 January 2015
NHS Strike To Go Ahead
A strike by NHS workers in Northern Ireland is to go ahead tomorrow (29 January), despite staff in England calling off their industrial action. It is understood that while a deal was reached regarding pay for staff in England, such an agreement was not implemented for NI. Members from the GMB union will be on strike tomorrow.
10 September 2002
MLA's call for new firefighters pay scheme
Two UUP MLA's have called on the Northern Ireland Executive to implement a new pay scheme for Ulster's firefighters. North Antrim UUP MLA the Rev Robert Coulter called for the introduction of a new pay formula in a motion to the Assembly on Monday. Mr Coulter said he hoped it would help achieve a real remedy to the question of firefighter’s pay.
18 April 2012
Public Health Workers To Strike
Up to 100,000 members of Unite, working for the NHS, will be staging protests and industrial action on Thursday 10 May over attacks to their pensions which could see them working until they are 68. The action will come a day after the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday 9 May.
22 May 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.