The Foyle MLA said that the experience of public servants forced to rely on savings, credit cards and payday loans to get by is unacceptable and must be addressed.
Said Mr Eastwood: “The SDLP stands with civil servants taking strike action today.
“They perform functions critical to the operation of our public services but have been treated very poorly in terms of below-inflation pay deals, personal development and career development, all while taking on more responsibility and coping with increasing workloads.
“That can’t continue.
“Our strongest resource is the quality of our workforce.
“In the Civil Service, pressures have been allowed to increase without satisfactory resolution.
“Many of our public services now rely on public sector workers going above and beyond their responsibilities, stretching themselves to ensure service users aren’t left in the lurch.
“Something has to give, workloads and in-work pressures can’t continue to increase forever.
“No public sector worker should be forced to take on credit card debt, turn to payday loan providers or exhaust their savings just to get by.
“These workers deserve a fair settlement.
“The Department of Finance and senior Civil Service Managers must engage with staff and their trade unions to resolve these issues.
“Workers on strike today have our full support,” added the SDLP leader.