The Department of Health can confirm it is proceeding with the HSC staff pay award proposals tabled on November 22.
The pay award is based on applying this year’s English NHS pay settlement to current pay rates in Northern Ireland. It represents an estimated 3% increase (or just over £60 million) on the pay bill for staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions.
A series of meetings have taken place with trade unions over a number of weeks. No formal agreement was reached, but all sides are committed to further discussions in 2019, including work on the modernisation of the Agenda for Change pay framework.
Notes to editors:
1. The pay award was detailed in the Departmental press release issued on November 22.
2. The award represents an estimated 3% increase (or just over £60 million) on the pay bill for staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions.
- It includes an increase of up to 15.5% for some of the lowest paid employees; a 3% increase to the top point of most Bands; and a 4% increase in the entry point salary for newly qualified nurses.
- Some 70% of staff would receive a 3% or more uplift to current pay scales. The remaining 30% would receive uplifts of between 1.5%-2.49% as well as, where eligible, pay progression increases.
3. HSC staff have been informed in writing of the pay award confirmation. Increases will be backdated to April 2018.
4. A series of meetings have taken place between the Department of Health, HSC Employers and Trade Unions to discuss the 2018/19 pay award for Agenda for Change HSC staff. These concluded with a meeting on Monday 17 December 2018. A record of that meeting is set out below:
‘Agenda for Change was introduced in 2004, bringing together several pay arrangements into one overall pay structure underpinned by Job Evaluation. Whilst its success is well-recognised, there is an accepted need across the UK for modernisation in a number of areas.
The Department of Health, HSC Employers and Trade Unions are all clear that there is a need for a journey to achieve this reform. Equally there is also a commitment to Agenda for Change as a UK-wide framework.
After extensive discussions between the Department of Health, HSC Employers and Trade Unions, it is recorded that no formal agreement has been reached.
The Department of Health, however, has concluded that its proposal of 22 November 2018 represents the most appropriate way forward, as it is based on the Agenda for Change refresh principles. The Department of Health will proceed towards implementation with a view to having the award paid to staff before the end of the financial year.
The Department of Health, HSC Employers and Trade Unions are all committed to advance preparatory work as far as possible so that informed recommendations can be made in order to reach an acceptable refresh of Agenda for Change.’