‘Undervalued’ health staff protest at hospital

A UNISON protester at Craigavon Area Hospital on Thursday
A UNISON protester at Craigavon Area Hospital on Thursday

Health workers held a protest at Craigavon Area Hospital on Thursday amid growing discontent among all NHS workers.

John Creaney, Unison branch secretary Craigavon hospitals branch, said staff feel ‘undervalued, underpaid and unable to deliver the care and services they want for the public.

“We must be mindful going forward that it takes all health workers to run the NHS successfully and that UNISON values all of them. We cannot leave anyone behind. UNISON is about supporting all of its members.

“UNISON has thousands of nurse members and we will support them all. A number of our branches are circulating a petition asking the public to support and sign it. We are demanding the UK Treasury release more funding to support the needs of all of our NHS workers.

“Agency spend is spiralling out of control. It was a whopping £32,162,889 for the period 2017/2018. Some of this money could potentially pay for over a thousand new nurses. There are around 22k nurses in the service with a vacancy rate of just over 11%. I

“We will not forget our nursing health care assistants who are now paid £1,706 less per annum than their counterparts in Scotland. We will not forget our newly qualified registered nurses in NI who are now paid £1,875 less per annum than their counterparts in Scotland.

SDLP Craigavon Cllr Thomas Larkham and party colleague Ciaran Toman attended.