Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has called on the Minister of Health to pay the Health and Social Care (HSC) workforce for wages lost during strike action.
The party’s health spokesperson and Committee Chair said:
“The failure of the Minister for Health to pay Health and Social Care workers the pay the lost during the HSC strike shows a lack of determination to really value frontline workers.
“£1.64m was allocated by the Executive to the Department of Health for the reimbursement of pay lost by HSC workers due to their strike and yet the Health Minister has failed to give the workers this money back.
“HSC workers have been at the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 and we have heard nothing but praise for them and rightly so. I the Health Minister wants to value health workers he should repay them the wages they lost for having to take to the picket lines to demand fair pay.
“Despite the current three-year pay deal agreed with the British Government, health workers pay has still not reached pre-austerity levels.
“Clapping is no longer good enough. It’s time for the British Government to sit down with trade unions and listen to the needs of health workers to ensure a sustainable health service moving forward.
“A good start here in the north of Ireland would be for Robin Swann to give health workers their money back.”