Health workers are on the front line in tackling the Covid-19 crisis and undoubtedly displaying huge dedication and self-sacrifice in doing so. However they are fighting this battle in the context of a health system which was already in chronic crisis, due to decades of underfunding from both Stormont and Westminster, leaving services overstretched and understaffed. This was a key issue health workers raised during their momentous strikes and industrial action late last year.
Tag: Pat Lawlor
The mental health emergency across Northern Ireland was brought starkly into focus this week, with protests being held by two different campaign groups within days of each other.
Since January 2018, there has been a protracted industrial dispute in the South between the Health Service Executive (HSE) and front-line ambulance service workers represented by the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) over recognition and the workers’ right to choose which union represents them.
At the end of February, the Department of Health for Northern Ireland enforced a pay ‘award’ on health workers. This was imposed above the heads of the trade unions after an intense period of negotiations reached an impasse and workers gave overwhelming support for industrial action, including strike action, in consultative ballots conducted by the unions.