The South Belfast MLA received a letter from the Department of Health Permanent Secretary stating £26 million has been earmarked to fully implement the 2017/18 Pay Review Body recommendations for health staff, including doctors and dentists, subject to the approval of health and finance Ministers when appointed.
“I have been in regular correspondence with senior officials over the past few days and weeks making the case for a pay award for health workers which takes account of the rising cost of living,” she said.
“Inevitably, officials will make the case this now requires sign-off from Ministers, and it goes without saying the DUP and Sinn Féin should be using today’s good will to advance Executive formation and give public sector workers the pay rise they need and deserve, given the ongoing rise in the cost of living particularly around food and fuel.
“Nevertheless, I see no reason officials should not proceed in any case to implement the pay award, given no parties can reasonably oppose it. It would be a fine thing if they could announce this intention before Christmas.”