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Nurses in Northern Ireland to get 1% pay rise

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Nurses and midwives in Northern Ireland are to receive a 1% uplift in their pay, in line with recommendations for the rest of the UK, ministers have announced.

Northern Ireland health minister Michelle O’Neill today belatedly confirmed a 1% pay award for health and social care staff.

Over 55,000 staff in the country will receive the 1% uplift, which was recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body for 2016-17.

Ms O’Neill said: “Healthcare staff are the backbone of our health and social care services and I want to recognise their professionalism and compassion in delivering high-quality services.

“Whilst there can be no doubt that we are still under considerable financial pressure, it is important we recognise the continued hard work and dedication of people in the health and social care services,” she said.

She added: “I want to pay tribute to frontline healthcare staff, who are critical in ensuring the delivery of safe, effective care, of excellent quality, at the time of need.”

The Business Services Organisation, which provides regional support to the health and social care sector in Northern Ireland, said it was working to include the uplift and arrears in staff pay by early autumn.

In January it was announced that Northern Irish nurses and midwives at the top of their bands would receive a 1% one-off payment, under a long-awaited offer from the government for 2015-16. The long delay before the offer sparked strike action from some unions.

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