Northern Ireland news

Department of Health to bring forward proposals on nurses' pay

The Department of Health will bring forward pay recommendations

THE Department of Health has said it will bring forward pay recommendations for health workers, after a three per cent offer was made to staff in England and Wales.

A pay award for those in Northern Ireland has not yet been announced with unions calling for clarity.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Northern Ireland said it would consult members on a response.

Northern Ireland health workers previously went on strike in late 2019 to early 2020 before a deal was agreed which restored pay parity with health workers in England and Wales covered by the Agenda for Change contract.

Rita Devlin, the acting director of RCN Northern Ireland, said members would "now be waiting anxiously for a pay announcement".

"The Northern Ireland Executive needs to look at the situation we're facing very carefully and make the right decision," she told BBC NI.

"Nurses and other health care workers have a right to know as soon as possible where they stand and what pay award they will be receiving."

The health union Unison said it was writing to the health minister to ask when an announcement could be expected for staff in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health said the first tranche of a "special recognition" payment for health workers for their work during the pandemic has been paid.

It was intended that all staff would receive a payment of £500.

It is understood that the first payments, to some Health and Social Care (HSC) statutory sector employees paid fortnightly, were included in salaries paid in July.

The remainder will receive their payments in salaries paid 29 July.

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