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Northern Ireland Call For NHS Talks

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

GMB Call On Health Department In Northern Ireland To Set Up Talks To Avert Strike Action In NHS Tomorrow

GMB is awaiting a response from Department seeking talks as no talks have been set up and we need urgent action as the clock is ticking says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS and ambulance service, responded to the statement by Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety on the new NHS pay offer in England and its application in Northern Ireland. See notes to editors for copy of statement and copy of GMB press release on NHS pay offer in England.

Michael Mulholland, GMB regional officer, said "GMB is awaiting a response to a call placed with the Department seeking talks to clarify the position on the NHS pay offer. For clarity no talks have been set up on this. We need urgent action to get talks as the clock is ticking.

GMB is surprised and disappointment that the deal hammered out between unions and the coalition government yesterday to avoid strike action on 29th January has not yet been approved by the Northern Ireland government.

It is irresponsible of minister Jim Wells to ignore the strike across the NHS and ambulance service in Northern Ireland. As a result Northern Ireland is now the only part of the UK facing a damaging day of NHS strike action.

NHS workers are furious at this insult and the public will want to know why the minister is not on top of the situation."

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Contact: Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer on 07841 181656 or Michael Mulholland on 07974 018 413

Notes to editors

1 copy of statement by Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety dated 27th January.

 A spokesperson for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety said: "The Department is of course pleased that the unions have called off their industrial action in England. We note the mutual agreement which has been reached which, significantly, will not risk frontline jobs and will not involve any increased cost to the taxpayer.

"Although the arrangements for 2014/15 are settled, we have previously indicated to Trade Union colleagues locally that we are willing to discuss an affordable pay settlement going forward within the parameters of the current cost envelope."

2 Copy of GMB press release dated 27th January.

GMB SUSPEND STRIKE ACTION IN NHS IN ENGLAND TO CONSULT MEMBERS ON NEW OFFER IN PAY DISPUTE

New offer enables suspension of strike action while we consult with members on whether they wish to accept the offer or not says GMB

GMB is to consult members in the NHS in England on a new offer that has emerged after a week of talks to resolve the pay dispute in the NHS.

The new offer has enabled GMB to suspend the 24 hour strike action by members in the ambulance service on 29th January as well as the 12 hour strike action by GMB members in the rest of the NHS on that date in England. GMB is seeking talks with Department of Health in Northern Ireland to get the new offer on the table there to enable union to suspend the action there on 29th Jan as well.

A national meeting of GMB NHS, Ambulance & Nursing Committee Senior Representatives will take place on Wednesday 4th February 2015. At the meeting full details of the offer will be set out and the timetable for a consultation will be agreed.

GMB members took part in the strike action in the NHS across England & Northern Ireland on 13th October and 24th November in the pay dispute.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer, said "GMB is pleased that after a week of talks we have secured a new offer. This enables us to suspend the strike action in England while we consult with our members on whether they wish to accept the offer or not

GMB has called on the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to put the new offer on the table there to enable us to suspend the action there on 29th Jan as well.”

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