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. 


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. 


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.