Social workers in Northern Ireland take strike action

Around 1,400 social workers across 11 community health trusts in
Northern Ireland are taking strike action for two days this week in
protest over pay and conditions.

The members of the public service union, NIPSA, have taken the
action on Wednesday and Thursday in support of a pay and grading
claim designed to bring social workers’ pay into line with their
health service colleagues, who they regularly work with in
multi-disciplinary settings.

NIPSA deputy general secretary Brian Campfield said:
“NIPSA members are taking this industrial action reluctantly
and as a last resort, but they are determined to secure a fair rate
of pay for a very difficult and pressurised job.”

The pay claim was submitted in February last year and Campfield
claims that it was only when the union decided to ballot its
members on industrial action that the employers entered into
serious negotiations. However the dispute remains unresolved.

In addition to the 48-hour strike action members are also
adhering to a strict 37-hour week.

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