Staff demonstration at Derry Hospital to highlight pay increase demands

Health and Social Care Workers from the Western Trust held a demonstration last week at Altnagelvin Hospital to highlight their pay increase demands.

Health and Social Care Workers from the Western Trust held a demonstration last week at Altnagelvin Hospital to highlight their pay increase demands.

The demonstrations are organised by the Western Trust trade union Staffside, which is made up of multiple trade unions representing health and social care staff.

They are held at lunchtime at the Altnagelvin, Omagh and South West Acute Hospital sites and will happen regularly until either an acceptable pay offer is made or until unions vote on industrial action, the union group stated.

The Western Trust Trade Union Staffside have organised lunchtime demonstrations, which will be held regularly until either an acceptable pay offer is made or until unions vote on industrial action

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A representative from The Royal College of Nursing said: “The offer from the pay review body is far below what would be acceptable.

“We have multiple issues across the site and across the health service and we’re trying, in our own way, to effect some sort of change.

“If we can’t pay staff a fair wage then we can’t recruit or retain staff.

“Staffing levels are at an all time low and patient safety is compromised. That’s what we’re trying to improve.”

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A lunchtime demonstration was held by Health and Social Care Staff in the Western Trust outside Altnagelvin, Omagh and South West Acute Hospital to highlight their pay increase demands.

A spokesperson for Nipsa said: “Safe staffing saves lives. I couldn’t drive that message home any more strongly. People were out clapping for NHS staff on their doorsteps. You were the heroes.

“So why won’t they pay the ‘heroes’ what they deserve? Give them safe staffing levels, not just for the staff but for the public as well.”

A representative from Staffside said: “We’re not just fighting for an above-inflation pay increase, we’re fighting for the future of our Health and Social Care Service. We’re haemorrhaging staff and we’ve been through a pandemic, where there was a time when we thought we could rebuild the health service and rebuild society in a way which was a lot better and a lot more equal.

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“Instead, the opposite is happening; the health service is on its knees and we’re not valuing staff.

“It’s up to us as unions and it’s up to us as workers to save our Health Service and win the demands that we want, which is an above-inflation pay increase. 4.5 per cent or whatever they’re going to offer us isn’t going to cut it. We know our worth and we need to shout loud and clear that we’re prepared to fight for what we deserve.”

The ‘Journal’ contacted the Department for Health regarding this issue but have not received a comment at time of going to press.