HSC Chief Executives’ Statement re Industrial Action on Thursday 18 January
15th January 2024
We are deeply concerned that the planned industrial action on Thursday 18th January will have a profound impact on our services, which are already under enormous strain.
The disruption will be on a massive and unprecedented scale
Minimal and emergency services only will be available throughout Northern Ireland, similar to Christmas Day, at best.
It is a tragedy that our colleagues, who are the backbone of our Health and Social Care service, feel they have no alternative but to take this action.
We would repeat our call for all staff to be properly rewarded for their work.
They understandably feel aggrieved that their counterparts in the rest of the UK have received a pay award, while they continue to work incredibly hard without receiving the same recognition, particularly during a period of high cost of living increases. To add to their immense frustration, they have been told publicly that funding for a pay award is potentially available, but not yet released.
As Chief Executives, we have repeatedly and publicly called for a long-term funding settlement for health and social care in Northern Ireland that addresses central issues including waiting lists, recruitment and pay in a sustainable manner.
We have been struggling with a system where funding has been allocated on a yearly basis, which makes it impossible to plan for the long term.
There is so much to put right in health and social care. Much-needed progress has been critically hampered by multiple years of political and budgetary instability.
As the extreme pressures on the Health and Social Care service continue unabated, the position is increasingly unsustainable.
We would like to sincerely thank all our staff for their continued dedication, in really difficult circumstances.