Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney has said the Tories should end its savage cuts to services and get on with delivering fair pay and safe conditions for public sector workers.
Speaking as teachers and health workers take part in strike action today across the north, the South Antrim assembly member said an Executive must be formed to support workers to fair pay and proper working conditions.
Declan Kearney said:
“It is unacceptable that teachers and health workers have been forced into industrial action to demand fair pay and safe working conditions during a cost-of-living crisis.
“The reality is that these essential workers have been experiencing reductions in their net pay for years, and while the Tories preside over a system which results in billions of pounds being denied to the public purse due tax evasion and a failure to collect taxes, particularly from big business and multinational corporations.
“12 years of savage Tory austerity has decimated public services in the north. Teachers are under huge stress and the system is vastly under resourced. Conditions in the health service have left workers feeling unsafe due to severe workforce pressures.
“The British Government needs to end its strategy of undermining of sustainable public services and get on with delivering a fair pay settlement for all public sector workers quickly.
“This Tory policy is based on a political decision to unleash savage cuts against public services while they have chosen to look after the bankers and energy companies which are ripping people off. There is an alternative; it is to invest properly in services and to value these essential workers. This can be done if the political choice is made to do so.
“Sinn Féin supports all those on the picket lines today. But let’s be clear, workers and the trade union movement need more than simply solidarity, they are entitled to an Executive now which strengthens their rights and stands up for public services. Sinn Féin is ready to start that work today.”