The NIPSA ballot for industrial action returned a 90.4% vote for strike action and 96.6% for action short of strike action.  The NIPSA Health Panel, which represents all branches in Health & Social Care and Health Arm’s Length Bodies, has therefore authorised the following industrial action;

18 December 2019 

24-hour strike action by all NIPSA members in the health services and in related arm’s length bodies.  The action will commence at 12.01 am and conclude at 11.59 pm.

19 December 2019

Action short of strike action by all NIPSA members in the health services and in related arm’s length bodies will commence. This action will include;

Only work normal paid hours

  • Don’t do unpaid work
  • Don’t cover vacant posts (after 5 days)
  • Don’t cover long term sick (over 4 weeks) or cover maternity pay
  • Take all your normal breaks

The action will commence at 12.01 am on 19 December 2019.

19 December 2019 – 31 March 2020

NIPSA will develop a programme of all member strike action, selective groups’ strike action and further action short of strike action.  Notice will be issued when these actions are agreed.

Why is this action necessary?

This action is necessary because, despite numerous meetings, the employers, the Department of Health and the Government have failed to sufficiently address NIPSA’s claims for pay justice and safe staffing. 

Co-Ordination 

NIPSA, Unison, Unite and RCN have met to co-ordinate the action of the 18 December. All the unions have different starting points, objectives and tactics in this dispute.  Where possible, further co-ordination will be sought. 

Exemptions

NIPSA has not agreed any exemptions from the industrial action.  If the employers identify real emergency situations, they will be able to contact NIPSA’s liaison officers and appropriate arrangements will be put in place.  In any incident where strikers carry out agreed emergency cover, NIPSA will view them as acting on behalf of the striking workforce and will expect them to relinquish their wages for the period of the cover.

Picket Duty

All members are asked to participate in the picket rota.  The stronger the action is the less time it will last. 

If you require further advice or guidance either contact your local NIPSA Branch Secretary or NIPSA advice line on 02890 661831 or NIPSA Health Dispute Info line 07970372804. 

A Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet will be available on the NIPSA website. 

The notified Health & Social Care and Health Arm’s Length Bodies are:

Belfast, Northern, Western, Southern and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trusts; Business Service Organisation and Business Service Organisation (IT); Glenmona Resource Centre; Health and Social Care Board; NI Ambulance Service Trust; NI Blood Transfusion Service; NI Guardian Ad Litem Agency; NI Medical and Dental Training Agency; NI Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery; NI Social Care Council; Patient Client Council, Public Health Agency; Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.

 

Following a 90.4% vote for strike action and 96.6% for action short of strike action NIPSA Health Panel (representing all health branches) met on Thursday 28 November to consider the next steps.

The Health Panel has agreed a programme of industrial action including both strike action and action short of strike action.

Subsequently, in line with NIPSA Rules, NIPSA Disputes Committee has ratified the action proposed by the Health Panel, which is as follows:

All member strike on 18 December
Indefinite action short of strike action beginning on the 19 December
A rolling programme of selective and all member strike action up to March 2020

In due course Management will be issued with the seven days notice required under law before action is taken.

NIPSA have sought a meeting with UNISON, RCN and Unite to coordinate action in all areas.

All members in all health service areas are now asked to prepare for strike action and action short of strike action. Further detail will follow imminently.

Maria Morgan
Assistant Secretary

I am pleased to confirm the result of the Industrial Action ballot as follows:

Are you prepared to take part in Industrial action consisting of a Strike?

YES 90.4%

Are you prepared to take part in Industrial Action short of a Strike?

YES 96.6%

1.  This circular sets out the procedures for making nominations for election to NIPSA’s General Council for the 2020-21 year i.e. the new General Council takes office immediately after NIPSA’s             Annual Conference in June 2019. Branches need to take immediate action to ensure nominations comply with the deadline of 17 January 2020.

2.  In January/February 2020 members of the General Council will be elected by an individual ballot of all ordinary members. The elections for President, Vice-President and Honorary Treasurer will       be held at NIPSA’s 2020 Annual Conference from among those elected to the General Council following the individual ballot. 

3.  A copy of the regulations for the election of the General Council is enclosed. Your Branch Committee should consider carefully these regulations and I would draw your attention to the following       points:

     (a)      Nominations for the General Council can be made only by NIPSA Branches and at properly convened general meetings of your Branch.

     (b)      Nominations must be made on the enclosed nomination Form 2A which must be signed by the Branch Chairperson and another Officer of your Branch.

     (c)      Each candidate must signify his or her consent to his or her nomination.  It is important that Branches obtain this signature as NIPSA Headquarters cannot follow up incomplete forms.

     (d)      For each candidate I should receive details on the nomination form of the nominee’s name (forename in full), gender, address, grade, NIPSA Branch number and signature of consent to                   act if  elected.

     (e)      Completed nomination forms must reach me by 2.00 pm on 17 January 2020.

     (f)      An election address of up to 100 words may be submitted by candidates for election to the General Council.  Election addresses must be submitted using Form 2B attached and can be                  sent  along with the nomination form or be sent separately by the candidate.

     (g)     In order to assist Headquarters in compiling the election address booklet a facility has been set up to allow candidates to submit an election address electronically.  Please see instructions                attached.  It is important to note if candidates avail of this facility they must also forward a signed copy.

     (h)    Completed election addresses must reach me by 2.00 pm on 17 January 2020.

4.  The election will be independently supervised by Civica Election Services (formerly known as Electoral Reform Services).

5.  All information received will be treated in accordance with our Data Protection Policy. This and the Privacy Notice it contains can be access on our website at https://nipsa.org.uk/privacy-policy.

6.  Please make immediate arrangements for your Branch to hold a meeting to decide on its nominations and in good time for your Branch and your candidates to have all             the  necessary papers with me by 2.00 pm on 17 January 2020.

7.  If you require hard copy of any of these papers please contact Lesley-Anne Scott by email [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] or 02890 661831.

Alison Millar

General Secretary

The Department of Finance has today published the 2019/20 Pay Remit for public sector workers. The announcement effectively means that the austerity agenda continues with no change to pay policy for 2019/20. Effectively this would mean that public sector workers whether they be civil servants, heath workers, education workers etc. will have their pay increase capped at a below inflation level for the tenth year in a row. This is totally unacceptable and does not auger well for industrial relations across the public sector.

Members in the NICS are currently engaged in industrial action on the issue of pay, terms and conditions and our members in the Health Service will be receiving their ballot papers next week on the issue of pay and safe staffing levels. As members will be also be aware, teachers have been engaged in industrial action for a number of years and have not had a pay increase since 2016.

This is another slap in the face for hard working civil and public servants who have continued to deliver vital public services in the absence of the NI Assembly. I have no doubt this announcement will further anger members and strengthen their resolve to fight for decent pay and a fair increase.

NIPSA will consider carefully our next steps, in consultation with our members, but members can be assured we will be using the General Election as an opportunity to challenge candidates standing in that election about what they will do to ensure that public sector workers get a fair and decent pay increase. NIPSA is also raising this matter directly with the NI Select Committee at Westminster. Yours sincerely

Alison Millar
General Secretary

The Department of Finance has today published the 2019/20 Pay Remit for public sector workers. The announcement of a one per cent increase, with anything above that coming out of departmental efficiency savings, means that the austerity agenda continues with no change to pay policy for 2019/20. Effectively this means that public sector workers whether they be civil servants, heath workers or education workers etc will have their pay increase capped at a below inflation level for the tenth year in a row. This is totally unacceptable.
NIPSA General Secretary, Alison Millar, stated:

“Members in the NICS are currently engaged in industrial action on the issue of pay, terms and conditions and our members in the Health Service will be receiving their ballot papers next week on the issue of pay and safe staffing levels. I am sure this will anger members and strengthen their resolve to fight for decent pay and fair increase.
This is totally unacceptable and does not auger well for industrial relations across the public sector. This is another slap in the face for hard working civil and public servants who have continued to deliver vital public services in the absence of the NI Assembly.
The decision to continue with austerity measures is a political choice rather than an economic necessity. NIPSA will consider carefully our next steps, in consultation with our members, but members can be assured we will be using the General Election as an opportunity to challenge candidates standing in that election about what they will do to ensure that public sector workers get a fair and decent pay increase.”
NIPSA is also raising this matter directly with the NI Select Committee at Westminster.