O’Neill voices support for health workers
Commenting on the decision by the largest health workers’ union UNISON to take industrial action Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill said today.
“The decision by UNISON to take industrial and strike action comes only days after the Royal College of Nurses took the unprecedented step of voting for industrial action to improve safety in health and social care and for better pay and conditions.
“Health and Social Care staff are the service’s greatest asset. However, they are underpaid and undervalued.
“Years of Tory austerity cuts to frontline public services, supported by the DUP, and the cap on public sector pay has our health service on its knees.
“Waiting lists and waiting times for patients are at crisis levels. The safety of staff and patients is being compromised as a result of staff shortages which have been exacerbated by pay issues affecting recruitment and retention of staff.
“Sinn Féin has pledged its support for the workers’ efforts to improve safety and their pay and working conditions.
“The Department of Health needs to immediately begin to meaningfully engage with the workers and their unions and we need to see an end to the disastrous DUP/Tory austerity cuts to our public services.”