RCN presents evidence on pay to the Northern Ireland Assembly Health Committee
Published: 07 June 2007
RCN Northern Ireland presented evidence in support of the RCN's pay campaign to the Northern Ireland Assembly Health Committee at its meeting on 7 June 2007.
The RCN representation comprised RCN Northern Ireland Director Mary Hinds, Deputy Director Janice Smyth and RCN General Secretary Dr Peter Carter. They articulated members’ concern and anger at the staged pay award, explained the implications of the forthcoming ballot on industrial action and asked for the Committee’s support for the award being met in full with immediate effect, rather than being staged.
Following the meeting, Health Committee chair Iris Robinson MP MLA said: “It seems logical that it is more cost-effective to pay our nurses at the appropriate level of salary than to lose them to other parts of the worlds and all the years of training in the Province.”
Fellow Health Committee member Carál Ní Chuilín MLA told the hearing: “I am sure morale is very low and in terms of the human cost I think it is immeasurable. I do think it is important that this committee does have a very crude tot up of the financial costs (of industrial action). Everyone knows that you (the nursing profession) have been the backbone, providing the health service from cradle to grave and are not getting heard, so maybe the crude tot up is what is needed in order to bring people’s attention.”
The previous day, RCN Northern Ireland Board Chair Ann Marie O’Neill, Director Mary Hinds and Deputy Director Janice Smyth met Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety Michael McGimpsey MLA. This was the first formal meeting between RCN Northern Ireland and the new Minister since the restoration of devolved government. The agenda comprised the RCN’s pay campaign, the Review of Public Administration and the implications of the comprehensive spending review for health and social care in general and nursing in particular.