NIPSA HSC Pay Update: Agenda for Change (Refresh) Framework Agreement – Inclusive of Payscale Restructuring for HSC Northern Ireland

This posting is to bring members up to date regarding NIPSA’s position on the “Agenda for Change (Refresh) Framework Agreement,” which has been used by the Conservative Government to drive through a 3 year pay deal for the NHS staff in England.

This process has caused much misinformation and speculation across the Health and Social Care (HSC) system in Northern Ireland since it was announced in England a number of months ago.

More recently NIPSA members will have seen press coverage of NHS staff in England claiming that they have been “duped” by this particular deal.

This posting aims to do 3 things:

  • Firstly, provide accurate, factual information on the current state of play in relation to pay for NIPSA members in the HSC sector in Northern Ireland.
  • Secondly, to outline why NIPSA has come to the conclusion that the NHS England Agreement is, in our view, not fit for purpose.
  • Thirdly, to put NIPSA’s position on Pay and Agenda for Change related issues on the record.

NIPSA the leading public service trade union in Northern Ireland has voiced concerns over the new AfC Framework which has been agreed in England and Wales.

Kevin McCabe, Assistant Secretary, NIPSA commented:

“NIPSA acknowledges that the AfC Framework has been agreed in England. This however does not mean it will be implemented in Northern Ireland.

NIPSA is currently considering all aspects of the Framework which could reduce terms and conditions of our members. This is not acceptable to NIPSA. It will therefore be necessary to consider if and how this or elements of this would be implemented in Northern Ireland.

A pay circular was agreed between HSC trade unions and HSC employers for the 2017/18 pay arrangements for staff covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) terms and conditions of service. The Department of Health has accepted the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendations of a 1% increase to all AfC pay points from 1 April 2017 and to an adjustment, of pay point 1 so that it is above the 2017/18 level of the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Members employed as Warehouse Operatives in the Business Services Organisation based at Boucher Road, Belfast are due to take strike action on Friday 10 June 2016 at the Warehouse in Boucher Road. Please support this group of workers in their fight for fair and just working practices.

As members will be acutely aware the previous Health Minister Jim Wells imposed 2014/15 pay on AfC staff. This was as follows: