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Health workers strike in Northern Ireland




Thousands of health workers are taking part in strike action in Northern Ireland.

Paramedics are among workers attending picket lines across the region on Thursday.

Activists from Nipsa, Unison, Unite and GMB unions are staging the action.

The 24-hour stoppage will be the latest full day of action by health sector unions as they press for safer staffing, better pay and better mileage allowances.


The last strike action took place on 12 December.

The Royal College of Nursing also took part in strike action in December over pay and protected staffing levels.

Anne Speed ​​of Unison said that in the absence of talks, workers are “walking out and moving on”.


“It is a frightening situation when all the doors are closed for the trade unions who are ready for talks. So it is inevitable that this action is happening today.

“Health workers can neither stand by nor remain silent. And why should they?

Ms Speed ​​also criticized Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris, who is currently on a visit to the United States with the aim of encouraging business opportunities.


The Stormont Assembly remains in flux, with no ministers in office.

Ms Speed ​​said Mr Heaton-Harris had responsibilities in Northern Ireland.

“It is time he made addressing the crisis in our healthcare one of his priorities. Recruitment and retention of employees and pay justice are every bit as important as the business itself,” she said.

“Our members also expect a united effort from all political parties to break this impasse.”

In a statement, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it had worked with trade union representatives to identify the services and roles that would be exempt from strike action to ensure that clinical Essentially continuing to respond to the most urgent patients.

However, the NIAS said it anticipates challenges throughout Thursday and it plans to maintain the safety of patients who need it most.

It has urged the public to call for an ambulance only on Thursday in life-threatening emergencies like cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, difficulty in breathing, severe bleeding and others.

The service said, “callers should not hesitate to call 999 in the case of serious illness or injury, but other callers should consider other options, including self-care, seeking GP or pharmacy advice or Including presenting themselves to emergency departments.”

The spokesperson said: “NIAS respects the right of our employees who are union members to participate in industrial action.

“This action is being taken in relation to national issues of pay and conditions and is a matter for government and trade unions.”

(tags to translate) Chris Heaton-Harris


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