Unison to campaign for improved pay for Northern Ireland healthcare workers
Unison's Northern Ireland members receive the lowest hourly pay rates in the NHS
Unison will target Northern Ireland as the next step in its pay campaign, it was announced at the union’s health conference in Brighton this week.
The union's head of health Christina McAnea told the conference that its Northern Ireland members have the lowest hourly pay rates in the NHS.
She said: ‘Northern Ireland is our next target and we will be putting our resources into supporting our members’ campaign in any way we can.’
Members in Brighton voted to challenge the Westminster government over its policy of limiting public sector pay rises to 1% per year until 2019-20.
The union will also work to raise NHS pay in all four UK countries, it was decided.
Ms McAnea said: ‘We will be ready for any attacks on our terms and conditions and I mean any terms and conditions – not just unsocial hours.’
Members also voted to seek changes to Agenda for Change (AfC) including raising starting salaries and shortening paybands.
Healthcare support worker Karen Berk told the conference she was very poorly paid when she started working in the NHS 25 years ago, but the AfC system had lifted her from band 2 to band 3.
She said: 'I still firmly believe in Agenda for Change.
'Yes, it's not perfect, but it's the best we have. Let's make it better.'