Alliance Party Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has said that a pay award to nurses and other health workers must proceed immediately, as the failure to deliver it is directly harming service provision to patients.
The South Belfast MLA stated: “In the context of rising inflation and thus a rising cost of living, there can be no dispute that nurses are due the pay award which will bring pay into line with elsewhere in the UK.
“This situation is exacerbated by the fact that lower pay is a false economy, with agencies charging scandalous rates to provide nursing cover. It is plain also that it is grossly unfair for some nurses to be paid considerably less than others for the same job.
“We also need to find a way urgently to cap agency pay as is the case in England.
“The pay award will not in itself solve the overall problem, but is a vital part of doing so. Clearly it is also important to get the devolved institutions up and running quickly to ensure adequate scrutiny of the Health and Social Care transformation process, including workforce planning to ensure we have more nurses on fair pay and conditions.”