Pay for public sector Health and Social Care staff in Northern Ireland

CSP members holding placards on a picket line
CSP members on the picket line

Pay for 2022-24

On 8 December 2022, the Department of Health announced that it was in the position to implement the Pay Review Body recommendations for HSC staff on Agenda for Change (AfC) terms and conditions. This was backdated to April 2022. This meant that pay parity with England was maintained for 2022/23.

However, to resolve the pay dispute in England, a pay increase for 2023/24, plus a new non-consolidated settlement for 2022/23 was offered and accepted. This was not offered to staff in NI at that time and therefore the CSP and other health unions entered into dispute which resulted in industrial action.

Since the return of power-sharing, CSP and other health unions have been in negotiations, and have now received a pay offer that would restore 2023/24 pay levels to those seen in England. CSP members are to be consulted on this offer.

Details of the 2023/24 offer

All unions have closed their consultation on the pay offer and since the majority of the unions voted to accept the pay offer the department will now move to implement. It takes time for our payroll system to be updated so we do not anticipate any increase being seen by staff until June 2024  at the earliest.  

Pay parity with England for Agenda for Change staff in Northern Ireland will be restored with effect from 1 April 2023, with all AfC staff receiving a backdated pay rise of at least 5 per cent.

The proposed new pay scales are set out in the Department of Health letter below.

On-call availability and sleep-in allowances will be uplifted by 5.2 per cent, bringing these to £29.14 and £37.97 respectively with effect from 1 April 2023.

In addition, the Department is providing funding for a further non-consolidated award of £1,505 to all AfC staff. 

The non-consolidated element of award would not count for pensionable pay, nor towards any of the other allowances and additions to pay in the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook. It would not, for example, count in the calculation of unsocial hours or overtime payments. The award would be made on a pro-rata basis for those working less than full-time hours, and for those who have joined or left HSC employment during the course of the period 1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024. For leavers and joiners, pro-rata in terms of eligible length of service will reference each month in employment, or part thereof. Hours worked on Bank contracts should also be included, up to a maximum payment per individual of £1505

Frequently asked questions about the offer

Is the non-consolidated the same as the other parts of the UK received?

Wales and England both had slightly different non-consolidated pay offers that were negotiated within the cost envelope open to them at the time.  

Has NI previously had non-consolidated awards that England did not get?

As part of the 2021/22 pay award staff in NI had a non-consolidated payment. And then in 2022 there was a £500 special recognition payment made to staff.  

Pay for 2024/5

Northern Ireland also follows a Pay Review Body (PRB) process process. The PRB is independent from government and reviews information and evidence from health unions, the government itself, and NHS employers. It will then make recommendations to ministers. It is the government which decides whether to accept these recommendations.

A remit letter has now been sent to the PRB board asking for recommendations for 2024/25 pay in Northern Ireland.

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