Preparations continue for the one day strike already announced for members in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.  It is absolutely imperative that members support this day of strike on 24 January 2020 as it will send a clear signal to the Finance Minister and the newly formed NI Executive and the NI Assembly that we are serious about ensuring NI Civil Servants get the pay rise they deserve. 

The NIPSA Health Central Panel met yesterday, Thursday 16 January, to consider the latest offer on Pay and Safe Staffing.

The Panel had representation from all NIPSA branches covering all Health and Social Care employment areas in attendance. 

After extensive and detailed discussion the following was agreed:

  1. The Panel is recommending that NIPSA members reject Management's Safe Staffing document.
  2. The Panel is recommending that members reject Management's Pay document.
  3. NIPSA will carry out a comprehensive consultation with members in all employment areas.
  4. NIPSA industrial action will continue as follows:
  •  Action short of strike action.
  • Continue to prepare for selective action across employment areas.
  • Suspend our Nurses action in line with the RCN decision.
  • Discuss the 24 January 2020 strike with our Trade Unionist colleagues with a view to setting an alternative date.

NIPSA consultation process will begin next week.  Pay and Safe Staffing documents along with notes will be provided.  Location and details will follow.

If you have any queries please contact your Branch Secretary.

Maria Morgan
Assistant Secretary

On the 18 December 2019 NIPSA members played an outstanding role in the biggest strike action that the Health Service has seen in many years.  We thank all of our Branches and members who took a stand to defend your NHS.  It is important to note the huge support that was given from the public and patients on the day.

The action has forced significant concessions from the employers but has not sufficiently addressed the two key issues, pay justice and safe staffing, that NIPSA members are fighting for. 

NIPSA is seeking:

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%