Voting Begins for New HSC Pay Offer in Northern Ireland

Credits: NPR

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Northern Ireland is currently consulting eligible members regarding the Department of Health’s new pay offer for Health and Social Care (HSC) staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions.

This consultation is a significant step forward in addressing the long-standing pay issues affecting healthcare workers in Northern Ireland.

Voting is now open and will close at 6 pm on Thursday, March 21, 2024. Members are reminded that only their latest vote will be counted if they vote more than once. The RCN is encouraging all eligible members to participate in the vote and make their voices heard.

Northern Ireland Voters (Credits: Reuters)

The new pay offer includes a 5% consolidated pay uplift for HSC staff, which is a positive development. However, the RCN has expressed disappointment that the offer does not achieve parity with the non-consolidated element of the pay award compared to what colleagues in England received last year.

This disparity underscores the need for continued advocacy and negotiation to ensure fair and equitable pay for healthcare workers across the UK.

The RCN Northern Ireland Board has decided not to make a recommendation on how members should vote, instead leaving the decision to individual members.

This decision reflects the RCN’s commitment to democratic decision-making and ensuring that members have the opportunity to express their views on important issues affecting their profession.

To help members make informed decisions, the RCN is providing detailed information about the pay offer and hosting a series of member webinars.

These webinars will allow members to ask questions and receive clarification on any aspects of the pay offer that they may be unsure about.

Additionally, RCN staff and representatives will be visiting workplaces across Northern Ireland in the coming weeks to provide further information and support to members. The outcome of this consultation will have significant implications for healthcare workers in Northern Ireland.

A positive vote could lead to improved pay and conditions for HSC staff, helping to address longstanding issues of low pay and staff shortages. Conversely, a negative vote could prolong the pay dispute and further delay the resolution of these issues.

The RCN urges all eligible members to participate in the consultation and make their voices heard. By engaging in this process, members can help shape the future of pay and conditions for healthcare workers in Northern Ireland and ensure that their profession is valued and respected.

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