Chambers welcomes progress towards agreed pay settlement for health workers

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Chambers welcomes progress towards agreed pay settlement for health workers

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Alan Chambers MLA has welcomed the major progress made towards our valued health workers eventually receiving pay settlements for 2023/24.

Alan Chambers said:

“The long-standing position of the UUP has been that previously agreed Executive commitments regarding parity on terms and conditions needed to be honoured.

“Whilst that shamefully wasn’t possible in recent years in the absence of a functioning Executive, I am really pleased that within only weeks of resuming the role of Minister of Health my party colleague Robin Swann MLA has been able to move so quickly to propose a settlement that includes the full restoration of pay parity with England for health and social care staff covered by the Agenda for Change framework.

“I am hopeful that in the coming days and weeks further announcements might also be made in relation to important settlements such as those proposed by the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body.

“Our health workers should never have had to take industrial action in order to receive the pay awards that they deserve. The fact that previous Executive commitments to maintain pay parity between workers here and England fell victim to the collapse of the institutions was nothing short of a disgrace. It was appalling that in recent months workers have found themselves in exactly the same position as they did in late 2019, despite the broad political consensus in early 2020 that parity needed to be reinstated and maintained. 

“I am really glad that a proposal is now on the table and that the local unions are giving it a fair wind. I am hopeful that an uplift in pay, combined with further significant one-off awards, will come as some long overdue financial relief for our staff, especially at a time of inflated costs. It was unsustainable for service delivery that we could continue to depend on the goodwill of our health and social care staff, or to retain staff, in the absence of pay parity.”