Mass action can win real pay-rises! After three years of political impasse, the Northern Ireland Executive has been restored. The misnamed “New Decade, New Approach” agreement promises a return to the approach of kicking the can down the road on many “contentious issues” while politicians unite around a common agenda […]
Almost 12 months have passed since health unions in Northern Ireland began negotiations on pay, terms and conditions. These discussions began as a result of the acceptance of the Agenda for Change Refresh Agreement by health unions in England and Wales in 2018.
It is clear that the NICS and the Department of Finance Permanent Secretary, Sue Gray, have seriously underestimated the strength of feeling and the determination of NIPSA members and activists. If NIPSA ramps up its industrial action planning, with the organisation of strike committees in local areas and with the development of a strategy and tactics to take the dispute through to Christmas and into the new year, then this shambles of a Tory government can be forced to blink first.
The 2018/19 pay award is a complete slap in the face for workers who are justifiably angry, having seen their counterparts in Scotland receive 4% in comparison. After seven years of pay-restraint, many civil servants are using food banks, working second jobs or relying on credit to get by.