Speaking after the announcement that the Royal College of Nursing is to begin balloting its members on industrial action, Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan said:
“Sinn Féin supports the right of nurses and all healthcare staff to decide on whether to take industrial action.
“Health and social care workers are overstretched and undervalued.
“There are over 7,400 vacancies within the health service – 3,057 of those are nursing posts.
“The pay issue is directly linked to recruitment and retention of staff which is compounding pressures already facing health workers, impacting on front line health services.
“The Department of Health must work with the trade unions on the issue of pay and provide the necessary support ensure delivery high standards of health and social care continues.”