Speaking tonight on the issue of pay justice for health and social care workers, Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill said:
“Health and social care workers are the biggest asset of the health service.
“They face unprecedented pressure as a result of swingeing financial cuts to the health budget by the Tory party over the last ten years.
“They have been denied pay justice and the ability to work within safe staffing levels.
“Failure to resolve these issues has meant that they are being forced to take industrial action this Wednesday as a last resort.
“These issues can and need to be resolved now.
“The department needs to stop playing a very dangerous game of chicken with health and social care workers and their representatives.
“Today I have continued my engagement with the Head of the Civil Service David Sterling and with the British Secretary of State Julian Smith on these issues.
“I have once again made the case that the Civil Service has the authority on the grounds of public interest to resolve the pay issue and defuse the impasse.
“I welcome the acceptance of the public interest argument.
“The necessary funds can be made available to meet the demands of the HSC workers for this year and avoid the imminent industrial action.
“Pay parity for health workers will be a priority for me which I will put to the first meeting of any restored Executive.”