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Under-pressure health staff to get 3% rise as Stormont finds £60m


Richard Pengelly

Richard Pengelly

Richard Pengelly

Health service staff in Northern Ireland are to receive a pay cap-busting 3% increase, it has been has confirmed.

The extra £60m cash has been found following a reshuffle of spending by Stormont's departments.

The Department of Health is to receive an extra £109m in total. The minimum rate of pay will be set at £16,943 - an increase of up to 15.5% for some of the lowest-paid employees - and there will be a rise in starting salaries, including for newly-qualified nurses.

Public-sector pay rises have been capped at 1% for a number of years. Around 70% of staff will now receive a 3% or more uplift to their current pay scales.

In addition, eligible staff will receive incremental pay progression - increases that move them towards the top of their pay bands.

The department has confirmed that Health and Social Care (HSC) staff have been informed in writing of the pay award confirmation and the increases will be backdated to April 2018.

It will proceed towards implementation with a view to having the award paid to staff before the end of the financial year.

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Department of Health permanent secretary Richard Pengelly said: "Our health and social care system depends on the dedication and expertise of staff, particularly during these times of unprecedented pressure on services.

"I am delighted to be able to reach this point.

He continued: "The department, alongside our colleagues in the Department of Finance, has worked hard to make this possible and I am very grateful to staff across the sector, and our trade union colleagues, for their forbearance while we were doing so."

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