At the 2019 NIPSA Annual Conference the following motion was carried:

"Motion No 76

Conference commends the work of the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) and the vital work that blood donation plays in helping to save lives across the world.

Conference calls on the incoming General Council to support the work of the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) and to encourage members who are able to do so to register and donate blood, by advertising and promoting blood donation in NIPSA News and through its social media postings.”

In furtherance of that motion NIPSA has met with the NIBTS and agreed a number of actions.  One of these actions is to highlight the importance of giving blood and encouraging new donors.

Please circulate the attached leaflet amongst your membership and encourage them to become blood donors.  Make this a New Year’s resolution.

Alison Millar
General Secretary


Download this file (2020 new year resolution blood donation promotional NIPSA.pdf)Blood Transfusion Flyer[ ]139 kB

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.


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%

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

As members may be aware the McCloud case, which was taken by the Fire Brigade’s Union (FBU) which determined the transitional protections afforded to older workers was discriminatory on the grounds of age.

The attached is an agreed joint statement between the Management Side and Public Sector Trade Unions in Northern Ireland.

This is a complex situation which will take some time to work through across all schemes.  In due course, as the situation becomes clearer, further bulletins will be issued.

Alison Millar
General Secretary 



Download this file (McCloud Judgement - Joint Statement.pdf)McCloud Judgement - Joint Statement.pdf[Statement]489 kB