NHS staff to suffer no wage penalty for strike days

Wed, 27/05/2020 - 17:05 -- Editor

SDLP Social Justice Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has welcomed the announcement that nurses will not suffer a financial loss as a result of striking for safe staffing levels.

The Finance Minister announced that £1.6million would be made available so that health staff would not lose pay for these days.

The Foyle MLA commented:

“This is a welcome decision and a necessary decision. Health staff should never have had to strike to demand safe staffing levels in the first place and certainly should not be penalised for doing so.

“Having spoken with those on the picket lines last year, it was clear that their decision to strike was not taken lightly. They wanted nothing more than to be at work, caring for their patients but ultimately had no other option but to take strike action.

“Long before this pandemic hit our nurses and health staff were working under extremely challenging circumstances. We can never repay the invaluable service they provide on a daily basis. Regardless of the herculean tasks put to them, our health staff have remained steadfast in their commitment to providing care and ultimately saving lives.

“It is only right and just that they should not lose out financially for strikes which came about due to three years of political paralysis. The Executive had a duty to ensure this money was made available, I’m glad that they have upheld that responsibility.”