BALLOT RESULT: Members in NI vote for strike action

48 hours of strike action planned for every Trust in Northern Ireland after 90% of respondents vote in favour.

Published: 08 September 2023 Trade Union & IR

The Society would like to thank all members in NI who voted in the ballot which closed on Wednesday 6th September. 90% of respondents voted in favour of industrial action in order to secure improvements to pay and conditions, increase recruitment and retention of radiography professionals – and thus cut waiting times for patients. 

Strike action planned

We are therefore taking out members in every trust in NI for 48 hours of strike action from 8am on Thursday 21st September to 8am on Saturday 23rd September 2023. 

Almost 10 per cent of the Northern Ireland population is currently waiting for a diagnostic test, according to the latest figures.

Cora Regan, SoR national officer for Northern Ireland, said: “Voting for strike action is never an easy decision. This is especially true for radiography professionals in Northern Ireland, who work excessive hours to provide their patients with the best possible care – while being paid a salary that has fallen significantly behind what radiographers earn in the rest of the UK. 

“But it’s overwhelmingly clear from the ballot that our members believe that the current situation is unsustainable. The radiography professionals on the frontline know that low wages undermine efforts to create a stable HSC workforce with sufficient staffing levels to ensure that all patients receive the best treatment possible.

“New figures show that 188,881 people in Northern Ireland are now waiting for a diagnostic test – an increase of nine per cent since 31 March this year. This wait means cases become more complex and, for some patients, even a two-week delay can mean the difference between life and death."

The time is now    

“At the same time, pay has been dropping further and further behind the rest of the UK. Radiographers in Scotland are now paid 12 per cent more than in Northern Ireland.  

“The pressure to increase working hours, coupled with low pay, means that many radiography professionals are leaving Northern Ireland – or the profession itself – and they are not being replaced in adequate numbers.  

“The time to act is now. We need to offer our radiography professionals considerably better pay and conditions if we want to be able to keep them in our hospitals – and avoid patient waiting lists growing even longer than they are already.”  

Ms Regan said: “Radiographers are key to the transformation of health services in Northern Ireland. We believe that these measures will dramatically cut waiting lists, thus improving patients’ care, boosting the wellbeing of radiographers and saving the HSC millions in agency and outsourcing costs.    

“Our members deserve better. Our patients deserve better.”