SDLP Health Spokesperson Mark H Durkan MLA has said that the hard working health workers in Northern Ireland deserve parity of pay, following the news that NHS workers in England are to receive a pay rise worth at least 6.5% over the next three years.
He said: “Our health workers constantly go above and beyond the line of duty, working themselves to the point of exhaustion to cover the ever growing number of gaps in the service.
“It is not hard to conclude that this is a factor in the difficulty that we are having recruiting staff to the health service.
“While we welcome the news that NHS workers in England are to receive a pay increase of 6.5% over the next three years, their counterparts here are understandably asking ‘what about us?’
“There is already a disparity in pay across the regions and, while we struggle to maintain staff here, we cannot afford for that to grow.
“Any Barnett Consequential of this money must be ring-fenced for the same pay increase for workers here.
“Frustratingly, any increase here does look likely to be delayed due to the ongoing political impasse – with no Ministers or Assembly in place to sign it off.
“Once again, we find ourselves in the familiar situation where people are being left in uncertainty and disadvantaged due to the political brinkmanship between the DUP and Sinn Fein.
“Our NHS workers deserve their fair share and it is the very least we owe them,” he added.