Magherafelt care workers anger over pay issues

Northern Trust
Northern Trust

Home care workers operating within the Magherafelt area, employed by the Northern Trust have spoken of their anger and upset at not being paid on time.

Angry workers told the MAIL they were assured that an issue with a new computer system which had caused problems with payments would be fixed and they would be paid by last Friday (11th April).

One worker, who did not wish to be named, told the MAIL the issue has caused a lot of upset and anger among the staff.

She said: “There are 138 care workers in the Trust area and our argument is that we have to fuel our cars everyday, and we are just being told to contact our line manager but what can they do? We are getting nowhere.

“I have been one of the lucky ones I got paid two weeks ago, we usually get paid fortnightly but some girls weren’t paid at all. Then they said they would do an interim payment and would get us all paid up to date on 11th April, some got paid, some didn’t. It will be four weeks for some of the staff if they don’t get paid this Friday (18th April).”

The care worker said some of the workers received part payment by cheque but it was only part payment and they are still owed money.

She continued: “This is a system worth millions of pounds and they still haven’t got someone in to sort this problem out.

“It will push a lot of girls over the edge if they don’t get paid this week we all have bills to pay.

“I have personally had to go an get an overdraft to cover what I didn’t have coming in, so I was lucky to be able to get that overdraft, but others aren’t so lucky. We are just being passed from pillar to post. When some of the girls rang up, we were assured we would have been paid last Friday and that we didn’t need to contact them again, yet on Friday evening the wages and salaries office phone was on answering machine and said it would be until Thursday this week (17th April) so no-one can get anywhere!

“There are girls crying their eyes out, they are so stressed by this situation, it is completely unacceptable,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Northern Trust told the MAIL: “The Northern HSC Trust implemented the regional Human Resource Payroll Travel and Subsistence system (HRPTS) on 18th February 2014. Consequently, a number of Home Care staff received reduced travel expense payments in March 2014 due to an incorrect table embedded in the system.

“The Finance Directorate, as a matter of urgency, recalculated affected travel claims and, where appropriate, repaid the amount due in the following week. Any staff who had experienced financial hardship due to this issue received an online banking payment when they required this. Any staff who feel that they have travel payments outstanding should contact their line manager, who in turn will provide the information to Payroll / Travel Section and this will be investigated and addressed as appropriate.”