Pay battles looming in cost-of-living crisis

Tensions over pay rates for teachers, healthcare staff, council staff and workers in other sectors are bubbling over in Northern Ireland as living costs continue to soar.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 1st April 2022, 7:52 am

Unite members in the Education Authority are to go on strike today, with disruption expected to school transport.

Healthcare workers, meanwhile, are to take part in a series of demonstrations at hospitals across Northern Ireland as the trade union Unison demands pay rates to match sharply rising inflation.

Several teaching unions have combined to launch a campaign on pay, demanding political action after a two-year offer worth 3.2% was rejected.

Gas prices have been raised with electricity and oil likely to follow. Perhaps this is inevitable, but what is the government / regulator doing to ensure that any profits are used to soften the blow to consumers?

And the Unite union is expected in the coming days to announce further strikes across all 11 council areas, following last week’s seven-day action that saw bins go uncollected and some council facilities closed.

Public transport could be the next to see industrial action, with Unite and GMB members working for Translink due to give their verdict on possible strikes in a ballot that closes today after they too rejected a pay offer that failed to keep pace with inflation.

The price crisis continues with gas prices for Firmus customers in the Ten Towns area set to jump by just over 16%, while the Ulster Farmers’ Union say rising costs could lead to milk “scarcity”.