Newly appointed Chair of the Health Committee, Sinn Féin’s Colm Gildernew MLA, has welcomed today’s announcement by health unions that they will suspending their industrial action.
The decision follows the announcement by the Executive that pay parity for health and social care workers and commitments on safe staffing levels will be delivered.
Speaking following the announcement, Colm Gildernew said:
“I welcome the decision by health unions to suspend planned health strikes and industrial action.
“This decision follows the announcement by the Executive earlier this week to implement pay parity for health and social care staff in the coming weeks and a commitment to produce a costed implementation plan for safe staffing levels in the near future.
“There must be an inclusive approach to drafting the safe staffing plan which recognises and includes the important contribution of health unions and workers.
“I commend the fortitude of the health workers and their representatives during the industrial action and I welcome their decision to suspend the strike having secured pay parity and a commitment to safe staffing levels.
“The workers were left no other option and took the decision to strike in the best interests of staff and patients alike.
“It is vitally important that moving forward both the British and Irish Governments deliver on their financial commitments in the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal to allow for the proper resourcing of the health and social care service, education and other public services.
“Sinn Féin will continue to support our health and social care staff in the time ahead and work with the Minister and the Department of Health to ensure these commitments are lived up to.”