Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has said the failure of the Minister for Health to pay the Health and Social Care (HSC) workforce the pay docked them during the HSC strike shows a lack of determination to really value frontline workers.
The local Health spokesperson said: “The Executive has allocated £1.64m to the Department of Health for the reimbursement of pay lost by HSC workers due to their strike.
“The money is with the health department and yet Minister Swann has still failed to give workers their money back.
“This isn’t a bonus for workers for the huge sacrifice they have been making during the pandemic. This is repaying HSC workers the wages they lost for having to take to the picket lines to demand fair pay.
“If the minister wants to value health workers he should pay them back now.
“The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is another expert at praising the work of health service but just this week he omitted nurses and other frontline health workers from a Covid-19 related public sector pay rise.
“Despite the current three year health workers pay deal their pay has still not reached pre-austerity levels.
“It’s time for the clapping to stop and for the British Government to sit down with unions and listen to the needs of health workers to ensure a sustainable health service moving forward.
“A good start here in the north of Ireland would be for Robin Swann to give health workers their money back.”