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Friday 05 April 2024

NHS staff in Northern Ireland accept 5% deal

By MiP

Christine McAnea addressing striking NHS workers in Belfast

After months of industrial action, NHS workers in Northern Ireland have accepted a 5% pay offer for last year negotiated by health unions and the Department of Health. Negotiations had been stalled for months due to the breakdown of the power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive, which finally returned to office in February.

As well as a 5% consolidated pay rise for all Agenda for Change staff, the offer includes a one-off payment of £1,505 for all staff regardless of grade. The pay award, which will be backdated to April 2023, brings health workers’ salaries in Northern Ireland into line with those in England. In a consultative ballot, MiP and UNISON members in Northern voted 77% in favour of the deal.

Jamie Briers, MiP’s national officer for Northern Ireland, said the “long-overdue” offer showed “staff that their efforts throughout this extremely challenging period have been recognised”. Maintaining pay parity with staff in England would “be welcomed throughout the workforce”, he added.

Briers said MiP “appreciated” that the flat-rate lump sum offered to members was designed to help lower-paid staff, but said members would be “disappointed” that, at £1,505, the one-off payment was lower than those offered to staff in England, Wales and Scotland.

Despite Agenda for Change staff being due a further pay award from 1 April, as in the rest of the UK, negotiations for the 2024–25 pay round have yet to begin in Northern Ireland.


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