There has yet to be a decision for NI health workers’ pay rise in the coming year. This problem has created a limbo land for NI health workers. Indeed, NI health workers had requested a pay rise in 2020/2023, but the Department of Health will only make efforts for NI health workers to get a pay rise. Even they want to receive their delayed payment as soon as possible. According to the Department of Health, the government has yet to specify any unique budget for NI health workers’ pay rise in 2023-2024. As a result of this decision, NI health workers will go on strike to ask the Department of Health to meet their request and needs.
NHS crisis in NI
The Department of Health must give more attention to NHS workers and try to increase the efficiency of this Union concerning the created crises resulting from Covid-19 and other problems.
This strike has been the most significant health workers’ crisis in social care sectors dealing with NHS workers’ difficult conditions. The Department of Health report reads: “The high proportion of health expenditure accounted for by pay (around 50%) means that trends in pay costs continue to have significant implications for spending on service delivery.”
“The high proportion of health expenditure accounted for by pay (around 50%) means that trends in pay costs continue to have significant implications for spending on service delivery”.
NI health workers’ strike will hit the NI NHS terribly, and NHS will compensate for this crisis by employing army volunteer workers who gave health care services during Covid-19.
NI health workers strike for a pay rise
Indeed, NI health workers have been waiting to receive their salary for eight months. After eight months, they received their current year’s pay award.
However, the unions are still irritating their staff by going on strikes. NI Department of Health has said that this organization must investigate NI health workers’ pay and pays NI health workers’ pay rise according to its promise in 2022-2023.
“If we truly value the health service, we must resolve the nursing crisis,” Rita Delvin. The award will see most staff on the Agenda for Change scheme receive a boost of £1,400 to their full-time equivalent salaries, per the recommendations of the NHS pay review Body.
RCN says NI health workers stuck in ‘limbo land’ over pay
As a result of this event, RCN will deal with the NI health workers’ pay rise issue because it knows that tolerating this situation is complicated for NI health workers.
Royal College of Nursing director Rita Delvin said that the unions must try to clarify the pay rise issue.
She further added that unions are responsible for increasing industrial action to fulfil NI health workers’ needs.
She has asked to meet with NI Secretary Chris Hilton to discuss NI health workers. She has said that these healthcare workers’ pay rise must be equal to those health workers who work in Wales or England. NI health workers must receive £1,655 to top up the past year’s pay award. In Scotland and Wales, strikers have stopped their strikes and expect new offers for the current moment concerning inflation issues.
NI health workers’ pay rise depends on Stormont’s implemented budget
The pay rise of NI health workers needs Stormont’s budget implementation. If he agrees with NI health workers’ pay rise suggestion, they can have a pay increment in the current year.
An independent review body has recommended that health service staff be awarded a pay increase of £1400 for 2022-2023.
Robin Swann has said that pay increases recommended for health workers in Northern Ireland can only be implemented with an agreed Stormont budget.
The Health Minister said he had accepted the recommendations made by pay review bodies but could not move forward with them. For 2022 and 2023, health staff should be awarded a pay increase of £1400. And dentists and doctors will receive a 4.5% pay rise in the current year. However, Robin Swan, Health minister, has said that he needs to deal with this issue quickly and time is necessary to increase the healthcare budget to satisfy NI health workers. According to Robin Swan, concerning the Agenda for Change Pay Award, the Executive must work according to its previous commitments and observe pay parity with NHS pay in England.
He has said that making pay parity between NHS workers in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom is related to many items. Investigating their problems needs time and can only happen after a period of time. Before that, Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy talked to his counterparts in Wales and Scotland to call on Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi to develop a “fair approach” to NI health workers and the UK healthcare workers. He asked for budget development in the health service
Why did NI health workers withdraw from going on strike on Monday?
Last Friday, NI health workers went on strike to continue showing their satisfaction with their pay and asking for a pay rise like NI health workers in Wales and England.
Even though they had planned for another strike on Monday, they withdrew from going on strike after speaking with Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris.
According to the agreement between Mr Heaton-Harris and the North’s Department of Health, they will meet representatives next week. After the Department of Health announced its disagreement with the pay rise offer for NI health workers, Unison and Nipsa members, including representatives from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), protested at Belfast City Hall.
Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris’s speech caused strikers to stop their strikes on Monday, and the Union decided to cancel going on strike on Monday.
Indeed, Unison has 40,000 members in Northern Ireland, presenting a range of public sectors, including nurses, paramedics, midwives, admin, and clerical staff.
Unions will wait for Mr Chris Heaton-Harris’s investigation into their problem. But they will hold a severe strike if they don’t see any practical steps to meet their request.
NI health workers have said they don’t like going on strike; they want a satisfactory situation that causes them to continue their jobs. They said they have many offers in other places for better situations, but they want to stay on their land, and the Department of Health has said that it understands their obsession.
However, the Department of Healthcare has discussed its limitations and need for more budget in 2023/2024 to satisfy NI health workers. Meanwhile, he has felt sympathy with NI health workers. It has stated that it can’t pay a formal and regular payment to the healthcare workers who are trying very hard and deserve a pay rise after long years of giving services to people who critically need them.
Evidence shows that NI health workers are suffering from their situation and need a leader who deals with and solves their problems.