Members across Health and Social Care (HSC) will be aware that NIPSA alongside other Health Unions have been engaging with Department of Health (DOH) and Employers on a number of significant issues including pay, Staffing Levels and Travel Reimbursement.
The NIPSA Health and Social Care Central Panel has met and considered the announcement from the Pay Review Body as Endorsed by Government at Westminster which identifies:
“The recommendations of the NHS Pay Review Body for Agenda for Change staff is for a £1,400 payment on all pay points, which will be enhanced for the top point of Band 6 and for the pay points in Band 7 to ensure that they receive a 4% payment.”
Whilst acknowledging £1,400 is a higher percentage increase on the lowest Bands, it remains significantly lower than the increasing rate of inflation for all Bands and is effectively a further Pay Cut for NIPSA members.
The National Unions asked for an “inflation busting” Pay Rise to address the underlying issues including the Cost of Living Crisis, Recruitment, retention and Low Morale in the NHS along with acknowledging the continued commitment of staff during the Pandemic.
NIPSA’s position reiterates that pay lies at the centre of the problems facing HSC staff, recruitment and retention remains an ongoing issue highlighted by staffing levels which continue to give rise to concerns around safe staffing.
This together with the failure to address the ongoing impact of rising inflation, and unsustainable fuel and energy costs which outpace Travel Reimbursement rates has left NIPSA with no alternative but to Register Dispute and proceed to Ballot.
NIPSA has now notified the DOH and HSC employers that given the continued failure to address issues of Pay, Staffing Levels and rising costs on Travel Reimbursement, NIPSA is now in formal dispute with an intention to Ballot members.
Preparation on this work has commenced and further information together with ballot details will issue to members in due course.
Members can be assured that NIPSA did not take this decision lightly, but believe that the DOH and employers cannot be allowed to continue exploiting NIPSA members across the HSC system by underpaying and undervaluing their work.
Nor can we stand by as key services delivered to the public by NIPSA members continue to be compromised through inappropriate staffing levels, and a reliance on Members to absorb spiralling costs when using their personal transport to carry out their work.
It remains NIPSA’s intention to work collaboratively with the other Health Unions to build our industrial strength in order to achieve an acceptable outcome for members on all of these crucial issues. NIPSA will issue further information updating members on all of these matters as soon as possible.
Next steps include:
- Discussions with other unions to identify where possible a common approach to issues requiring a balloting process, including timing and forms of action
- Establish Strike Committees, prepare and issue campaigning materials