An umbrella of trade unions representing a wide range of Derry health workers this morning warned industrial action is likely to be considered if provision for pay increases for their members is not made within the block grant.
This morning, Unite, Unison, NIPSA and the Royal College of Nursing, collectively promised to take steps to "pursue" pay claims on behalf of health workers who, they say, have "gone without a proper rise for far too long".
The call follows the British Government's promise this week that it will lift a one per cent pay cap for police and prison officers in England and Wales in 2018, and the DUP's support on Wednesday for a Labour Party motion at Westminster demanding pay increases for NHS workers.
The local health unions said their members, whose wages continue to lag behind inflation, deserve better.
"A decent pay rise will make it easier for struggling hospital trusts to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff. Continuing with the pay cap will further damage services, and that affects us all," they stated.
"The government must give the NHS the cash it needs so its entire workforce gets a decent rise, without the need for more services to be cut.
"There must be no selective lifting of the cap as with police and prison officers a few days ago.
"All public servants, no matter where in the United Kingdom they live or what job they do, deserve a proper pay rise," they added.
Local union leaderships said they were "now preparing to pursue this claim".
"We will insist that the block grant should include additional funding to meet this claim.
"NHS staff here are already suffering a pay deficit of 3% and have not yet been given the uplift recommended by the Pay Review Body due from April 2017.
"We continue to demand that our members pay is brought in line and that the gap is closed," they stated.