You are here

Radiographers’ union expect full support for strike action tomorrow

29 April 2015

The four-hour strike by members of the Society of Radiographers (SoR) in Northern Ireland will go ahead tomorrow (30 April) and, other than individuals providing emergency and urgent care, the union are  expecting it to receive total support.

Staff in Radiology Departments and at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre will take to the picket lines from 8am until 12 noon. 

Along with the Royal College of Midwives, radiographers are taking industrial action because they say that the government is refusing to discuss an ongoing pay freeze for staff in the National Health Service. 

It is the fourth time in recent months that radiographers have walked out in a continuing effort to persuade Stormont to open talks.  

The strike will be followed by a week of working only to the letter of contracts of employment.

In other parts of the UK, agreement has been reached with NHS employers but the Northern Ireland Assembly has refused to hold any discussions with unions.

“Our fight is not with patients, their carers or their families and we certainly don’t want to cause anyone additional suffering,” said Richard Evans, the Society's chief executive officer.

“Staff will be covering emergencies and urgent procedures but pre-booked appointments will be postponed,” he continued.

"Radiographers only take industrial action as a last resort. Our members and other NHS staff in Northern Ireland have not received an increase in pay for four out of the past five years. The governments in the other countries of the UK agreed to a 1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff and our members in the province have indicated that they would accept a similar deal.”

The action follows a wider public sector strike on 13 March when hundreds of trades unionists took to the streets to protest. 

The Society of Radiographers estimate that members’ pay has decreased by 15 per cent in real terms over the past five years. 

Richard Evans: ”What we and the other Northern Ireland NHS trades unions want is to talk to with the employer. Repeated requests have been made and have been refused.”

If there is no improvement in pay and the dispute drags on, the Society is concerned that more radiographers will leave the profession for another career, making current shortages of trained staff even worse. Patients will have to wait longer to be seen than they do now. 

Radiography also needs to attract students to replace the people who retire or leave the profession every year. There are fears that if pay continues to fall in value, young people will not consider a career that requires three to four years of intensive training.


Notes for editor:

1. The Society of Radiographers represents 28,000 people who work in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. More than 19,000 radiographers work in the NHS in the UK.

2. Nine out of 10 patients see a radiographer when they attend A&E or during a stay in hospital.

3. Karen Smith, the Society’s president will be visiting picket lines during the stoppage and is available for interviews.

4. For further information please contact:

Paul Bromley on 020 7740 7225 / 0784 174 3432

Paul Moloney on 020 7740 7254 / 0785 063 9709

Dominic Deeson on 0795 784 5238 / 01227 469060

Content tools

Accessibility controls

Text size