An additional non-consolidated award for healthcare staff in Northern Ireland has been announced by the health minister, following trade union pressure.
The award is on top of the three per cent award for the 2021/22 pay round, announced in November 2021 by the Northern Ireland executive when it committed to awarding a three per cent uplift in pay as recommended by the pay review body. The news follows trade unions jointly expressing their disappointment that this was not the significant pay award needed to reward staff fairly and begin to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis.
The non-consolidated award announced by the minister will see:
- an additional 1.5 per cent non-consolidated pay uplift for Agenda for Change (AfC) bands 1-3
- an additional one per cent non-consolidated pay uplift in AfC bands 4-7 and for F1 doctors
- an additional 0.5 per cent non-consolidated pay uplift for all other directly employed HSC staff
Whilst this additional payment is welcome, the joint trade unions remain concerned that this still does not address the longer-term needs of pay in the NHS.
Claire Ronald, CSP senior negotiating officer said: ‘Physiotherapy services in Northern Ireland are stretched to the limit. At a time of increased stress and higher workloads fair pay is crucial in letting staff know they are valued. The additional pay is welcome but discussions must continue on pay to address the increasing cost of living and the need to recruit and retain valuable staff.’
At the end of 2021, CSP members working in the HSC in Northern Ireland were asked what they thought of the three per cent award. The overwhelming verdict, as it had been in England and Wales, was that three per cent was not enough.
The overall response to the survey was low – reflecting workload pressures at a difficult time – but the clear message that NHS staff need to be properly rewarded has reflected feeling expressed in England and Wales and from all staff groups.
As we head toward the pay review body process for 2022/23, the CSP, along with the other unions, will continue to make the case for a pay award that values staff, recognises the rising cost of living and genuinely supports recruitment and retention.
The three per cent pay award was already being progressed and the majority of HSC staff should see their basic pay adjusted in January’s pay packet. We do not have a date for when the additional money or back pay will be sorted but do not anticipate this will occur until April 2022.
What does non-consolidated mean?
It means it is a one-off payment which isn’t added to the pay scales.
It also means it doesn’t count towards your pension.
A consolidated payment is built into your salary and is included as part of your current salary when the next year’s increase is calculated. If you are awarded a non-consolidated pay increase for one year, once that year is complete your pay will revert back to the sum before the non-consolidated rise was introduced.
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