While he hasn’t retracted the unsatisfactory imposed 2015/16 pay award, Health Minister Simon Hamilton has pledged to recommend that the Northern Ireland Executive honours recommendations made by the independent NHS Pay Review Body for 2016/2017. This is a significant undertaking.
The late award for 2015/16, announced in January, is for Agenda for Change (AfC) staff at the top of their pay bands to receive a one per cent non-consolidated payment. Those not at the top of their pay bands would simply receive the AfC spine point to which they would be entitled irrespective of the award.
A ballot on taking industrial action over this perceived unfair award was due to take place on 17 February but the RCN Northern Ireland Board is now contemplating calling it off in light of developments.
RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth said: “The RCN will be providing comprehensive evidence to the Pay Review Body, detailing all the issues on which we have been campaigning. We want to thank members for the leadership that they have shown and their commitment and support which has culminated in this significant achievement.
“We believe that this is a milestone in our campaign to get fair pay and fair treatment for Northern Ireland nurses.”
View RCN Northern Ireland's Supplementary Evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body 2016-17