Strike action continues in Northern Ireland today after the government failed to provide a pay deal equivalent to the one proposed for NHS staff in England.
NHS workers who are members of unions GMB and Unite are taking part in industrial action that will last for up to 12 hours.
Trade unions in England suspended their 12-hour strike action planned for today after the government offered an improved pay deal for 2015-16.
The proposal sees all NHS staff in England offered a consolidated 1% pay rise, except those on higher salary bands who are not offered the uplift and would also not be able to receive incremental pay from April.
“NHS workers are furious and the public will want to know why the Department of Health is not putting the offer in England on the table as they are expected to do”
GMB said it had received no confirmation that the pay offer for NHS staff in England would be applied in full to workers in Northern Ireland, despite this having been the practice for more than 60 years.
“Instead we are invited to make reference to it in the discussions we have been offered. There is also no pay offer on the table for 2014-15,” said GMB regional officer Michael Mulholland.
“This is moving the goal posts and is totally unacceptable,” he added. “NHS workers are furious and the public will want to know why the Department of Health is not putting the offer in England on the table as they are expected to do.”
The union pointed out that Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK now continuing “damaging” NHS strike action and called on health minister Jim Wells to intervene.