Department of Health to bring forward pay proposals for health workers in NI

by Q Radio News

The Department of Health is to bring forward pay proposals for health workers in Northern Ireland. 

It comes after an offer of 3% was offered to NHS staff in England and Wales. 

The proposed pay award for those in Northern Ireland is yet to be announced but the department says recommendations are being brought to the Finance Minister and the Stormont Executive. 

A spokesperson for the department said, "The Department values and appreciates the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices made across the health service and the Health Minister will now bring forward the pay recommendations to the Minister of Finance and wider Executive.

"The Department asked the NHS Pay Review Body for recommendations on Agenda for Change pay for 2021/22, along with the administrations in England and Wales.

"The report of the review body has now been published - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/nhs-pay-review-body.   

"While there are specific references to Northern Ireland in the body of the report, the recommendations on pay apply to each of the jurisdictions which requested them.

"The pay values for all Agenda for Change staff in Northern Ireland are currently the same as in England and Wales." 

Unions in Northern Ireland have called for clarity on the situation. 

Lead negotiator for the health trade UNISON has written to the Department of Health asking when staff in Northern Ireland can expect an announcement on a pay uplift.

"We are seeking details and confirmation that funding will flow from the Barnett formula.

"However, this will not include social care, a perennial problem that has to be addressed."

She added, "Furthermore, all health unions have already responded that the uplift falls short of what health workers deserve, having coped with major challenges and now facing into a possible 4th wave of the covid pandemic. 

"We expect some clarity in the coming days as we prepare to consult with health staff."

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