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Local hospital and health centre pickets confirmed for Monday as nurses go on strike

Health Service workers who 'made enormous sacrifices during Covid' will stage pickets locally at Armagh, Craigavon, Lurgan, Portadown, Banbridge and Newry on Monday

NIPSA strike

Pickets will be held outside Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill in Newry as nurses prepare to strike.

NIPSA members will be making their campaign for improved pay a very visibly one when their industrial action kicks off from Monday.

The NIPSA ballot for industrial action returned a 92.62% vote for strike action.

And the union’s Health Panel – which represents all branches in Health and Social Care and Health Arms Length bodies – has therefore authorised strike action on December 12.

Various pickets will be taking place right across Northern Ireland.

Within the Southern Trust area, pickets will be held on Monday between 8am and 6pm.

These will take place at the top entrance at Daisy Hill Hospital and at the roundabout approaching Craigavon Area Hospital.

Striking workers will also be taking up positions outside South Tyrone Hospital in Dungannon, Lurgan Hospital, Portadown Health Centre and Banbridge Health Centre.

In Armagh, those on strike will picket at the St Luke’s Hospital site, at the entrance to Mullinure at Loughgall Road.

Business Services Organisation teams will join others taking action outside Mullinure, as well as at the Tower Hill site.

This will be the first strike in the Health Service since 2019.

Just four days ago the joint health unions of UNISON and NIPSA gave their reasoning.

They said: “A return to strike action is a reflection of the depth of the crisis in the health service.

“Health workers in Northern Ireland who have made enormous sacrifices during the COVID pandemic have not even received a 2022/23 pay offer from their employers.

“An effective and efficient health service cannot be based on driving down the living standards of staff some of whom who now rely on food banks. A decent pay rise is essential to maintain the stability of the workforce and retain staff.

“To achieve the best possible outcome for all health service workers, NIPSA and UNISON recognise that cooperation between trade unions is essential.

“Both unions are committed to working together in all Trusts on our industrial action strategies and ensuring the  wider alliance of trade unions across the health service pursues a decent pay rise

“NIPSA and UNISON together represent members across all areas and professions in the health service in Northern Ireland and will fight for a settlement that meets our call to protect workers against inflation and the cost of living crisis.

“Patient safety remains very important for health staff who will take industrial action. Discussions have already begun to ensure the employers take the necessary steps to protect patients during the dispute.”

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