Thousands of health workers to hold pickets over pay on five planned strike days

Thousands of health and social care workers are to strike for improved pay over five planned strike days commencing on January 26, the Unite union has confirmed.

Lead regional officer for Unite in health in the north, Kevin McAdam, confirmed the union’s members would be joining the picket lines with members of other health unions with a first 24-hour action set for January 26.

He said it followed an 87 per cent average vote for strike action across the north’s health trusts

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Four thousand Unite members are set to strike on January 26, February 16 ,17 and 23, 24.

Altnagelvin Hospital

Mr. McAdams said: “Unite’s nearly 4000 health members in Northern Ireland have returned a 87 per cent rejection of the imposition of a below inflation pay award to health workers in the region.

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“In the absence of action to address our members’ pay claim, we have been left with no alternative but to notify employers of strike action.”

Unite the union represents almost 4,000 health and social care workers across all five health trusts and the NI Ambulance Service.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak needs to show leadership.

“If proof were needed of the determination of NHS workers to fight for a better deal it’s here in the 87 per cent vote recorded in the Trusts in Northern Ireland.

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“In the absence of a functioning Stormont Executive, prime minister Rishi Sunak needs to show some leadership, bang some heads together, make sure that we can get back to negotiations and offer NHS workers in Northern Ireland a better deal.”