December 23, 2022
Sunak must end ‘unacceptable’ refusal to negotiate with health workers – O’Neill

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has called on the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to end the ‘unacceptable’ refusal to negotiate with NHS unions and to agree a fair settlement to avoid further strike action.

Criticising the British Government’s handling of the current dispute with healthcare staff, the First Minister Designate said: 

“Our health and social care system in the north is in crisis as a result of 12 years of Tory austerity which has underfunded and undermined our public services.

“Striking workers are not only taking a stand for fair pay and safe staffing levels but they are also standing up in defence of the heatlh and social care system which continues to deteriorate and is facing into possibly its worst ever winter of pressures.

“Without fair pay and safe working conditions, it becomes much more difficult to retain skilled health and social care workers. That needs to be addressed because it is a key reason why our health service is in crisis.

“It is totally unacceptable that the British Government refuses to even negotiate with the workers’ trade union representatives.

“Our nurses and health workers shouldn’t have been forced onto the streets to take strike action in the freezing cold for fair pay and conditions. 

“I raised this dispute with the British Prime Minister when he visited Belfast last week and I have written to him today again urging him to ensure his government immediately engages positively with the representative trade unions and pursues a suitable resolution that incorporates a fair pay and conditions settlement for health workers.

“Our nursing and healthcare staff are crucial to the functioning of the NHS so it’s time that the British Prime Minister started listening, and started negotiating.”

Follow us online

Latest Tweets

📺 Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children @Kathleensf1 will be live on @rtetwip today from 12noon.

Watch here:


"I know two STAUNCH Fianna Fáil supporters, and they told me that they would never ever vote Fianna Fáil again because you drove their 4 children to the 4 corners of the world."

A Sinn Féin Gov would prioritise housing and build the homes that our people need. @ThomasGouldSF

Sinn Féin is committed to funding Mental Health Care – Mark Ward TD

“We have a raft of measures that will improve people’s access to the mental health care they need, when and where they need it.”



Load More