Eight months after the pay rise was due, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland has finally confirmed that it has secured funding for the three per cent pay award that the NHS Pay Review Body recommended.
We await confirmation as to when CSP members employed by the HSC in Northern Ireland will see this reflected in their pay but it will not be until 2022.
The increase will rectify the current position where once again NHS staff in Northern Ireland are the lowest paid in the UK; this, and the fact that the three per cent is fully funded, is positive. However, it remains the case that three per cent is not enough – it doesn’t reflect the rising costs of living or the workforce crisis in parts of the NHS and was strongly rejected as an acceptable award by CSP members in England and Wales earlier this year.
Claire Ronald, lead negotiator in NI said:
“For eight months health and social care staff have had no news on their pay and then they receive a pay award that is now below inflation. This risks deepening the recruitment crisis at a time when we are seeing a new variant of Covid and trying to deal with the backlog in non-Covid care.”
While the Department of Health, in line with the Pay Review Body process, has announced an award rather than a pay offer the CSP, along with other health unions, will now make plans to consult those affected on whether they think the three per cent is acceptable or not.
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