News in brief: Northern Ireland update - TUC Women

Battle ongoing for rights in N Ireland
The disastrous decision by Northern Ireland’s health minister to scrap the partnership forum between government and health workers’ organisations as “surplus to requirements” has sparked a major campaign by unions including HCSA.

Following Simon Hamilton’s decision, which was made without consultation nor any consideration how representations on behalf of members could be made in the forum’s absence, unions have created a new Health Service Workers Alliance.

National Officer Jennie Bremner, who represents our members in Northern Ireland, explains: “We quickly established our terms of reference and they were in the main to lobby the Northern Irish government to re-establish the partnership forum, to mirror the other devolved parts of the UK.

“The minister has agreed to meet us and we are awaiting dates.”

HCSA is also pushing hard with the minister for recognition in the six counties in order to press home the interests of consultants, specialists and specialty trainees.


Focus on rising stress at women’s TUC
HCSA’s women members were represented early in March at the annual Trades Union Congress Women’s Congress in London.

National Officer Ro Marsh took to the podium to urge delegates to back a successful motion on the mounting work stress facing the medical profession.

“This has an increasing impact on women doctors, particularly those struggling with competing pressures of caring commitments and who are having to fight to be able to work part time,” she told delegates.

“Some of our members report struggles to assert their right to attend antenatal appointments, because of the pressure of work within the NHS.”

The conference place each year in the week of the United Nations-designated International Women’s Day on 8th March.