Health strikes: NI unions thank the public while industrial action is suspended

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Health worker unions have praised the public and patients for their patience and support during the strike.

Northern Ireland health unions suspended the strike on Thursday after talks with the Department of Health.

Unison, Unite and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) organized industrial actions to protest salaries and staffing.

RCN members were to attack again on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week.

Anne Speed, director of negotiations for Unison, said members made “many sacrifices” during the industrial action and “really appreciated” the public’s understanding.

  • Health unions will consider a payment offer of £ 30 million

The health minister, Robin Swann, said the news “would be well received by many, especially the patients and, of course, the staff who undertook industrial actions with a heavy heart.”

On Tuesday, the unions had a “positive” meeting with the health minister, who offered £ 30 million to restore wage parity. Talks with the department continued until Wednesday night.

NIPSA has said it is not happy with the agreement and the BBC understands that it will not suspend its industrial action.

A source said the union was deeply concerned about the way the negotiations were conducted and the amount of money promised in the salary agreement.

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Speed ​​said the union will now vote for its members on the agreement

Speed ​​said Unison will vote for its members with a recommendation to accept the agreement.

She said that while the agreement “is not perfect, there is always room for improvement, this is a great step forward.”

Ms. Speed ​​added that, in addition to the fact that there is now wage parity with England, there would be an additional £ 60 million for staffing and an estimated £ 10 million on the boat.

She said there would be 900 additional nursing places in practice and, although “it will take time,” there will be a reduction in agency agency dependency.

“We need to put that money in the salaries of the nursing workforce.”

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Ms. Cullen said it has been a “long and difficult road” for nurses.

Pat Cullen, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, said strikes “have been a long and difficult road for nurses in Northern Ireland.”

“Following the unprecedented decision to strike, our members finally have something concrete to consider in relation to restoring salary parity and personnel safety,” he said.

The talks between senior union officials and the Department of Health lasted most of Wednesday.

Swann thanked the suspension of the strike and said it had been “a very difficult time.”

“I want to pay a sincere tribute to our nurses and other health workers and the great work they do,” he added.

“Yesterday, we saw figures that show that the number of compliments in our health service far exceeds the number of complaints.”

‘A lot of work to do’

“This illustrates the excellent medical care that is provided on a daily basis in Northern Ireland, despite all the serious problems the system faces. I recognize, of course, that there is still much work to be done.”

Previously, Mr. Swann pledged to comply with union demands for wage parity after £ 30 million of additional funds from future funds were identified.

An agreement on how the department would implement the necessary processes to increase the number of staff working in the health and social care service has not yet been agreed.

As a result of the suspension, the five health trusts will not have to proceed with the cancellation of appointments and procedures next week.

Another positive move is that workers will not lose more wages.

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