Austerity News

StormontChamberHealth workers have wages cut
New staff starting in the Western Health Trust will have their working hours cut from 37.5 hour to 35 hours with the corresponding cut in pay. This is an attempt by the Trust to cut wages, annual leave entitlement and pay progression by cutting the working week. However the Trust doesn’t explain how the same volume of work is going to be carried out on reduced workers.

Job losses in DVANI, LibrariesNI, NIEA…
As part of Department cuts from last years Budget, workers are being laid off across Northern Ireland.100 temporary staff have been sacked at the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency.
At Libraries NI, over 80 agency and short-term workers have either been “released” (code for sacked) or told when their last date is. Of the 150 jobs lost from the closure of the Drivers Vehicle Agency in Coleraine only 50 have been secured other posts.

Continued crisis in A&E’s
The crisis in the accident and emergency units continues. Recent statistics show the amount of patients waiting more than 12 hours has shot up to 260 in September 2014. That’s up 240% on last year. A&E’s are reaching breaking point on a regular basis. Only the complete reversal of the cuts in  health and the recruitment of staff properly resourced can prevent more people dying waiting on trollies this winter.

Staff in key care roles at breaking point
Social workers in the Primary Care and Older People’s Directorate took strike action recently to highlight the very dangerous situation of impossible workloads on workers looking after the most vulnerable people in society. A NIPSA rep commented “Staff believe that these excessive case loads will lead to diminished services. They also fear a major issue or an inquiry”. This pressure is being felt across the board and when a case of neglect or abuse is overlooked due to the pressure of work shared out over too few workers, we will know who to blame – the politicians who have voted through these cuts.

£29 million cuts creates Housing Executive Rent hikes
In 2013 Housing Executive tenants got hit with a 3.6% rent increase. Now in 2014 they have been hit with a 4.2% hike. These rises are well above inflation and are only being made due to a budget blackhole of £29 million in cuts to the Department.

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