Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has welcomed the announcement that nurses and health care workers will receive their pay reimbursed this month from strike action.
The Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson said:
“I welcome today’s announcement that pay lost by nurses and health care workers during strike action will be paid back within weeks.
“This money should have been paid with urgency following the Executive agreeing to the proposal made in March by Joint Head of Government, Michelle O‘Neill.
“It is unacceptable that it has taken over 6 months for this pay to be reimbursed.
“I and other Sinn Féin colleagues raised the delay in payments consistently with the Health Minister in the health committee and elsewhere to ensure this money was paid to staff.
“I am sure that healthcare workers will welcome this payment in the mouth of Christmas.
“This payment is not only about ensuring that health workers were not financially penalised for strike action, but also a vindication of their position.
“Healthcare workers should never have lost this money as they should not have had to go on strike in the first place.
“Nurses and workers are the cornerstone of our health system, their strength and courage throughout this pandemic have been absolutely remarkable.
“Sinn Fein will continue to support our nurses and health care staff now and in the future.”