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Pay offer of 3% for Northern Ireland nurses

Offer is in line with pay review body recommendation but won’t reach pay packets until November
Picture of bank notes issued by banks in Northern Ireland

Offer is in line with NHS Pay Review Body recommendation but won’t reach pay packets until November

NHS nurses in Northern Ireland will be offered a 3% pay rise but will not see an increase in pay packets until November at the earliest.

The delay was criticised by RCN Northern Ireland acting director Rita Devlin, who said it would be yet another blow to an already beleaguered workforce. ‘At a time when nursing staff are struggling to cope as a result of mounting pressure on services, this delay will do nothing for morale, which is already at rock bottom,’ she said

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Offer is in line with NHS Pay Review Body recommendation but won’t reach pay packets until November

Northern Ireland bank notes. NHS nurses in Northern Ireland will be offered a 3% pay rise
Picture: Alamy

NHS nurses in Northern Ireland will be offered a 3% pay rise but will not see an increase in pay packets until November at the earliest.

The delay was criticised by RCN Northern Ireland acting director Rita Devlin, who said it would be yet another blow to an already beleaguered workforce. ‘At a time when nursing staff are struggling to cope as a result of mounting pressure on services, this delay will do nothing for morale, which is already at rock bottom,’ she said

Northern Ireland’s Department of Health confirmed it intends to offer the 3% rise, which is in line with recommendations by the independent NHS Pay Review Body.

It is the last UK nation to reveal its pay offer for nurses on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts after England and Wales announced a 3% rise for NHS staff in July and Scotland announced a 4% increase in May.

Pay rise would be backdated to April

Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann has written to health unions to inform them of the decision, although a formal announcement will not be made until after a budget review in October. The rise would be backdated to April.

Ms Devlin said RCN Northern Ireland members will have a chance to vote on whether to accept the 3% pay rise once the announcement is made.

The Department of Health said it would have to dip into existing budgets to fund the rise after the UK government made it clear no extra funding was available. A department spokesperson said the earliest nurses in Northern Ireland could see an increase in pay was November.

The 3% offer is well below the 12.5% pay increase the RCN wants to see for all UK nursing staff. It comes amid concern about staffing levels and nurses quitting due to pressures on Northern Ireland’s health service.


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