CSP calls for restored Northern Ireland Assembly to prioritise fair pay

The CSP is calling on the restored Northern Ireland Executive to resolve the public sector pay dispute, by providing physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals with fair and equitable pay.

Stormont, the Northern Ireland parliament building
Stormont, the Northern Ireland parliament building

The Northern Ireland Assembly, which has not existed since its collapse in February 2022, is now set to be restored following a decision by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to back a deal with the UK government that will bring an end its nearly two-year boycott of Stormont.

CSP members in Northern Ireland, who took strike action over pay in September last year and again earlier this month, welcomed the news as an essential step forward in their battle for health and social care staff to receive pay parity.

Commenting on the development, Claire Ronald, senior negotiating officer for the CSP in Northern Ireland said: ‘This is an important breakthrough that is long overdue and removes any remaining excuses not to deliver fair pay for Health and Social Care Northern Ireland staff.

Health and social care staff in Northern Ireland remain the lowest paid across the UK.

They are yet to be offered a pay uplift for 2023/24 and without a functioning assembly have had no way to discuss the non-consolidated award that England received for 2022/23.  

It is essential that the money offered by the UK government is now released to fund pay awards and help address the workforce crisis that is making it near-on impossible for our members to deliver the quality of care their patients need.

She added that it was imperative that political parties, through a restored NI Executive, prioritise a resolution to the public sector pay dispute.

'Fair and equitable pay is not only essential for the well-being of healthcare professionals but also for maintaining a motivated and skilled workforce that can deliver high-quality care to the community.'

Physiotherapy staff on strike at City Hospital
Physiotherapy staff on strike at City Hospital in Belfast

Meanwhile, Bernie McGreevy, CSP Northern Ireland board chair said: ‘It is essential that the NI Assembly as a whole is committed to ensuring appropriate and adequate funding for the healthcare sector.

‘Adequate funding is essential to deliver on the commitments made in Delivering Together, providing the necessary resources to enhance healthcare services, improve patient outcomes, and support the HSC workforce. 

‘Physiotherapists, alongside other health workers, are crucial in supporting the transformative changes necessary for the Northern Ireland and I look forward to working with a future minister for health to achieve those changes.’

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