Health workers should not be used as a political football - O'Neill
Speaking after this morning's health summit with political parties, the British Secretary of State Julian Smith and heads of the Civil Service, Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill said:
"Today's meeting was constructive. We discussed the serious challenges facing health and social care services and the need to address these issues including pay justice, safe staffing levels and the unacceptably long waiting lists.
"I made it clear, as I had done as Minister for Health, that additional funding is required from the British Treasury to address these significant challenges.
"I also reiterated our position to Julian Smith and heads of the Civil Service they have the ability and authority to make funds available that would achieve pay justice for health and social care workers.
"The lack of pay parity is an urgent problem facing health and social care which needs to be addressed immediately.
"It is not acceptable for Julian Smith or civil servants to use workers’ legitimate demands for pay parity as a political football in current talks.
"I will continue to to press the British Secretary of State and the Civil Service to deliver pay parity urgently."