Since the NHS pay deal for England was announced earlier this month, the RCN has been deliberating upon our position in Northern Ireland.
It is important to understand that the pay deal has been negotiated as an England pay deal. The original proposal was that we would ask RCN members in Northern Ireland if they would accept the England deal, were it to be agreed in Northern Ireland.
However, we have no Assembly, no Executive and no public sector pay policy set for 2018-2019. Department of Health representatives have stated that they are currently unable to commit to any undertaking in relation to pay. Given these circumstances, even if RCN members in Northern Ireland were to endorse the England pay deal, the RCN would have great difficulty delivering it in Northern Ireland within the current political climate.
If, and when, a deal is applicable in Northern Ireland, we will then consult our members.
However, the England pay deal does not address the pay differentials with the rest of the UK that the RCN has been highlighting through our Close the Gaps campaign. As such, therefore, it does not address the pay inequality that currently exists here.
After careful consideration, a decision not to consult members in Northern Ireland at this time has been endorsed by the RCN Northern Ireland Board. We will now give careful consideration to the direction of our pay campaign in light of these developments and the current political context.
The RCN will keep you informed of all future developments.