Lyttle reveals shameful lack of progress on nurses’ pay

East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has expressed anger at the lack of progress regarding providing backpay for nurses at the Ulster Hospital. The information on the delay emerged from two answers to written questions Chris submitted to the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey. When Chris asked him about the issue in September, the Minister suggested it would be resolved within 4 weeks and now in Chris’s most recent question the Minister did not even provide a date for resolution. Chris Lyttle will continue to campaign on this issue until backpay is provided.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “It is staggering that it’s taking this long to make progress on what is a relatively simple provision of backpay. In 2004, auxiliary nurses were awarded a band 2 pay grade. They appealed this and in August 2009 were successful and were awarded band 3. Essentially, they have been waiting for backpay dating back to 2004 for over a year now.

“Nurses make up the vital backbone of our health service. I am proud of the NHS, and what it stands for, and government needs to ensure nurses are fairly remunerated for their excellent work in often difficult conditions.

“Our nurses aren’t asking for much, and this delay is a real kick in the teeth for them. I am calling on the Minister to personally push this issue with the Trust and get it sorted immediately.

“The Minister needs to act quickly and be responsive to the needs and rights of his staff. Failure to do so would be an affront to the very staff who work so hard to keep the NHS afloat.”


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