23/11/2018

NHS Workers To Get 3% Pay Rise

Health service staff in Northern Ireland are set to receive a 3% wage increase under an offer made to the unions, following the removal of the cap on pay rises.

The extra £60million cash was found following a reshuffle of spending by Stormont's departments. The health sector will receive an extra £109m in total.

Public-sector pay rises have been capped at 1% for a number of years.

Under the offer, the minimum rate of pay would be set at £16,943, an increase of up to 15.5% for some of the lowest-paid employees.

Starting salaries will also grow, including those for newly-qualified nurses.

Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: "Our health and social care system depends on the dedication and expertise of staff, particularly during these times of unprecedented pressure on services.

"I am delighted to be able to reach this point. The Department, alongside our colleagues in the Department of Finance, has worked hard to make this possible, and I am very grateful to staff across the sector, and our trade union colleagues, for their forbearance while we were doing so."
News Image
The proposals will allocate a 3% pay uplift to around 70% of staff. Eligible staff will also receive an incremental pay progression, which is an increase that may move them towards the top of their pay bands.

The Department aims to implement the changes in the New Year.

Mr Pengelly added: "In common with many other parts of the public sector, health and social care services are facing intense budgetary pressure. Nevertheless, a pay settlement that recognises and rewards our hard-working staff has been an important priority, reflecting our determination to build a sustainable workforce.

"The Department remains committed to Agenda for Change as the UK-wide framework, and to working in partnership with trade unions on efforts to refresh Agenda for Change for future consideration."

Health Spokesperson for the Alliance party Paula Bradshaw praised the pay settlement.

"News that money is now available from the Department of Finance for pay settlements in health and social care is welcome," she said.

"We look forward to further detail of how this will proceed, but with pay elsewhere rising over four per cent in Northern Ireland, it was grossly unfair to leave health and social care workers without a settlement as the cost of living rises.

"I hope we will now move to a final resolution and delivery of a pay settlement swiftly."



(JG/MH)

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

05 April 2019
Workers Urged To Join The Active Travel Challenge
Employers across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to sign-up to the Active Travel Challenge for a healthier and more environmentally-friendly commute. The Department for Infrastructure, Public Health Agency, Sustrans and Translink have joined forces to launch the new initiative which will take place throughout June.
16 April 2019
Hospital Deaths While Awaiting Discharge 'Extremely Worrying'
MLAs have hit out after new figures revealed that over 200 people have died in hospital while waiting to be discharged. The report by Marie Curie shows that delayed discharges meant patients were dying in care despite being declared ready to go home.
04 April 2019
Public To Be Consulted On Emergency Care Provision
The public is to be consulted on the provision of emergency care services in Northern Ireland amid a Department of Health review of the area. Urgent and emergency care provided at hospital Emergency Departments across the region as well as GP out-of-hours services and Minor Injury Units will be open to scrutiny.
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.
09 April 2019
Cost Of NI Locum Doctors Almost Trebles To £83m
The spiralling cost of paying for locum doctors in Northern Ireland has put the health system under serious financial pressure, according to a report by the Northern Ireland Audit Office. Total expenditure has almost trebled to £83 million over the last seven years.