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Health workers ‘deserve better than 3% pay rise’

FERMANAGH HEALTH workers, who recently voted overwhelmingly in support of strike action, “deserve better” than the Department of Health’s latest pay offer.  
That’s according to Unison, which has around 2,000 members here in the county, has rejected a £60 million pay deal for health and social care staff announced by the Department last month. The trade union said the deal does not go far enough to address the pay gap between workers here and the NHS in Britain. 
Public sector pay has been frozen then capped at one percent since 2010. That cap was previously lifted for health workers in England and Wales, but not here. The deal the Department announced through media last month, without discussion with the unions, included an increased starting salary across all bands and a three percent increase for most workers. 
When Unison met to discuss the deal last week they concluded that it “fell short” of what they had called for, which was an immediate three percent increase for all workers, the elimination of the lowest band of pay, and a deal which would leave workers with a real living wage. 
“Our members deserve better than this,” a spokesman said.
Cllr Debbie Coyle, who works in the health service, said she had concerns around the proposals too. 
“As a large majority of NHS workers reported last week to be in favour of industrial action over poor pay, it is not surprising that this proposal was made,” she said, stating decent pay was essential to prevent understaffing.  
 “It is just disappointing in the way it was made, with no discussions and agreement with trade unions. The proposal still leaves issues around pay parity regarding the amount and time.” 

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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